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CMU Civic Forum honors the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Stephon Ferguson will perform I Have a Dream at CMU on 56th anniversary of the march on Washington

More than 55 years ago the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of the most important oratory performances in U.S. history. Dr. King’s speech changed the course of America by advancing civil rights. The use of language, philosophy and spirituality over violence is a hallmark of King's teachings. He changed the world with words, and on August 28, 2019 Stephon Ferguson will perform I Have a Dream at the CMU Moss Performing Arts Center. Prior to Ferguson’s keynote address and performance, he will meet with CMU student leaders to discuss the teachings of Dr. King. 

“My gift and talent portraying Dr. King is less a profession and more of a calling,” said Ferguson in anticipation of visiting CMU. “Dreams are forgotten if they are not remembered — and channeling Dr. King is my way of making sure future generations remember his dream of equality by hearing his words of hope.” 

Ferguson will take the stage at Colorado Mesa University at 6pm. The program will begin at 5:30pm with a musical performance by CMU students and faculty. 

Founder and CEO of the Equity Project, Nita Mosby Tyler, is a CMU collaborator and national civil rights leader. Mosby-Tyler has witnessed Ferguson’s work before.

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Nita Mosby Tyler

“Mr. Ferguson’s performance and message are wonderful,” she said. “The event is a continuation of a conversation I had with President Foster last year about the hard work CMU is doing to bring awareness to civil rights, civil liberties and equality of opportunity in Colorado today,” said Mosby-Tyler. 

The University is extending complementary tickets to attend the event which is hosted as part of the CMU Civic Forum. The Civic Forum is a campus initiative committed to making speakers, events and institutions available to campus and the community on topics including history, civic engagement, freedom of expression, social equality, social justice and current events. 

CMU President Tim Foster helped oversee creation of the forum and hopes the effort will continue to bring high profile national figures, like Ferguson, to campus. 

“Just a year ago Mr. Bob Silbernagel, former editor of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, proposed the idea of the Forum and here we are today bringing people like Stephon Ferguson to campus as a result of that idea.” 

Related to the I Have a Dream performance, Foster said that “it’s one thing to read the speech, but to hear the words directly from a man who channels the essence of MLK so authentically is something unique. Mr. Ferguson’s presence on campus helps keep the fundamental essence of Dr. King alive in our culture today.” 

Ferguson has traveled the world reciting King’s speeches and sermons for more than 10 years. He is the only performer licensed by the King Family Estate. 

King delivered the I Have a Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. 

“If the TV version of the speech gives me chills, I can’t wait for the inspiration that the live version will bring to those of us who have grown up learning about the historic words of Dr. King,” said Student Trustee Amara Hobbs. “I hope our students and community come together for this important event at CMU.” 

Prior to the speech CMU students and faculty will offer a special musical performance beginning at 5:30pm.

Reserve your participation in The Dream Lives event.

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Written by David Ludlam