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Deploying Our Gifts for the Betterment of Humankind: What would Dr. King Say about Us?

02/04/2010 7:30 AM Walker Morss Hall
Dylon Rockwell, Undergraduate, MIT; Zenzile Brooks, Graduate student Civil And Environmental Engineering;

Description: In urging the MIT community to use its gifts to help others in need, particularly, the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, Dylon Rockwell recalls his mother's quest to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. With vivid memories of hundreds of New Orleans residents arriving in his hometown of Dallas, his family was there to help at the Dallas Reunion Arena. He recalls heartbreaking moments, seeing young children separated from their families, and his mother's message of help and hope, "we don't have a lot of money, but we've got time and so that's what we are going to give."

Evoking the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Rockwell considers what King might make of those efforts, as well as the need to respond to Haiti. Inspired by King, he says what we need is a "heart full of grace and a soul generated by love", and hopes this message will be a call to action for support of Haiti.

Zenzile Brooks recalls her days playing piano in her local church and the praise and hugs from a highly influential Ms. Bryant. Through this story she reflects on the responsibility of having a gift and what it means to truly use it. It is our responsibility to recognize our gifts, to say "thank you" and use the gift for good in the world. She considers the gifts of Martin Luther King, Jr.__ his ability to galvanize others and to make people care__ and the ways in which he used them to change the world, noting this gift was something of a burden to him in the early part of his life.

Today, for Brooks, being at MIT is "a big and famous gift", that comes with a great deal of pressure and expectation. She encourages all who are part of the fabric of MIT to recognize this gift and to use it and tangible ways, to be a mentor, to provide real leadership, and to give voice to the voiceless.

About the Speaker(s): Dylon Rockwell, '11 is majoring in Astronautics Engineering with a minor in defense and security policy at MIT. He grew up in Dallas, Texas. He is the Chairperson of the MIT Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. He has been involved in MIT's efforts to raise funds for the Haiti Relief Benefit Showcase. Zenzile Brooks, 'G is a graduate student at MIT, studying Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is from Oakland, California.

Host(s): Office of the President, MIT Annual Breakfast Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated 9 months ago

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December 16, 2011 15:06
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