January 21, 2016
Communications and Marketing
"This is your moment!" declared Dr. Ivan Lemourt '86 in addressing students at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner on Tuesday, January 19.
Modeling a call to action in the style of Dr. King, Lamourt asserted, "We are responsible for the future. We have the power to change this country with the decisions you make every day. Saint Benedict and Dr. King taught us that the greatest weapon against evil is love...and I hope you all will be able to answer your children proudly about where you stood on the issues of today."
Lamourt is Director of Counseling at Saint Benedict's Prep School in Newark, N.J. Saint Benedict's has nearly a 100% acceptance rate for college, a superlative achievement by any standard but especially in a city where one third of the residents live in poverty.
To address the challenges of their students' trying circumstances, Lamourt and the school espouse the Rules of Saint Benedict emphasizing justice, stability, and affirming a common good. In translating those sentiments to Saint Anselm students at the dinner, Lamourt concluded, "Have the courage to go forward, forward and forward. Always forward."
Saint Benedict's Prep students have graduated from Saint Anselm, and the college's Office of Campus Ministry has conducted Service & Solidarity Missions Trips to Saint Benedict's. The missions are student-led service trips overseen by Campus Ministry during winter and spring breaks.
In addition to Dr. Lamourt's keynote speech, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner program included presentation of the third annual Social Justice Awards recognizing outstanding leadership, compassion, and courage by members of the college community. The 2016 recipients are Professor Jennifer Thorn and senior India Barrows.
The evening's events underscored the theme of the 2016 MLK programming, "Let Freedom Ring from the Hilltop," borrowing from the celebrated "I have a dream..." speech of Dr. King in which he extolled "So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire..."
To further honor Dr. King and his legacy, a month of programming at Saint Anselm College is conducted with the management of Yemi Mahoney, director of the Multicultural Center and Education Services. Activities include films, workshops, discussions, and urban immersion trips.