By Karly Sacco
Benedictine University and The College of DuPage celebrated the 20th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast ceremony on January 19 at 8 a.m. in The Krasa Student Center main dining hall.
Attendees listened to speeches from the university’s President Dr. Carroll, and Keynote speaker, Eboo Patel as they honored Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Martin Luther King Jr. was a great interfaith hero,” said Eboo Patel.
The event brings together more people from the community each year.
“I think every year it gets better, I mean, we can’t fit anymore people in Krasa so we are going to have to move to Rice Center in the future,” said Benedictine University’s President, Dr. Carroll.
Dr. Carroll expresses how the breakfast is important to not only the Benedictine community, but the College of DuPage community as well.
“Look at the rainbow here, it is an absolute wonderful place where people come together to talk about sameness,” said Carroll.
The breakfast’s Keynote speaker was founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), author and Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion award winner, and former member of President Barack Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Dr. Eboo Patel.
Patel spoke about why he believes Benedictine University is an example of diversity.
“This is university with a great Catholic heritage and a large population of other religions and I think it has done a terrific job in articulating how it’s Catholic identity is the inspiration for welcoming Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and others,” said Patel. “I think is a terrific example for the Chicago-Land area, the country, and the world.”
There was one main aspect that Patel wanted to express to the students of Benedictine University.
“I think the notion of looking at people from other identities and traditions as people to be inspired by and corroborate with rather than as people to shy away from would probably be the most important dimension of the talk today, and I think to recognize the that King embodied that,” said Patel.
According to Patel, the students of today have the potential to change the way people connect.
“King was a student when be began his journey, I think that is very powerful, he was 21-years-old. If students can cultivate the same attitude and build that skill set they will have the chance to be the bridge builders of the 21st century,” said Patel.
Benedictine University will continue to host their Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in the years to come.
“Why shouldn’t this happen every year?’ Until the last prejudice thought, until the last racial word, or sexist story, we need this more than once a year,” said Carroll.