Forums Shine Spotlight on Civil Rights
Becoming the first fully integrated college in the state more than 50 years ago, Miami Dade College has a strong history of defending civil rights. With its recent Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Forums, which aimed to raise awareness about fair housing discrimination, the College once again brought to the fore its commitment to promoting equality and preserving the enduring legacy of Dr. King while educating students and the public on important matters that directly impact them.
Drawing on History
Within 10 days of King’s 1964 assassination, the Fair Housing Act that he had so emphatically supported was passed, spurring change throughout the country that would ensure the right to equal access to housing for all. Although enacted nearly 50 years ago, the law remains as relevant as ever.
MDC’s Center for Community Involvement (CCI) organized the forums, bringing representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Neighborhood Housing Services and Hope, Inc. to the College’s InterAmerican, North and Wolfson campuses. Videos, skits and interactive presentations further brought fair housing issues to life in a compelling way to enlighten students and community members about their rights and how to identify signs of housing discrimination.
A Formidable Lesson
“I wanted the students to have a deeper understanding of Dr. King and the importance of his service,” said CCI Director Tamica Ramos, who conceived of the forums as a means to open a dialogue on fair housing as well as highlight King’s contributions. “At CCI, we focus on activating and empowering students through service-learning, volunteerism and civic education. Seeing the very real impact that one person can have shows them what is possible.”
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