Olympian Comes to Jackson for MLK

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Most MLK celebrations ended on MLK Day, but they continued in Jackon Saturday night. Nearly 1,000 people showed up at Jackson Community College to honor King as well as those who live by his principles.

One of those people was Olympic gold medalist, gymnast Dominique Dawes. Dawes was the first black gymnast ever to qualify on the American gymnastics team.

"It's an honor to speak for Dr. King," Dawes says. "He inspired us all."

She said speaking on his behalf is a humbling experience: "Stepping in the footsteps of a phenomenal orator is truly an honor."

This is the 16th year the college has held an MLK celebration. Freshman congressman Tim Walberg attended and said, "It's exciting to see people so inspired by someone years after his untimely death."

All the proceeds from the dinner go to at-risk middle school students, meant to give a chance to those with dreams. Dawes says it's those young dreams that changed her life.

"The 'I Have a Dream' speech resonates with me because as a young girl, I dreamt of Olympic gold at 10 years old, and since then, I haven't stopped dreaming."


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