Celebrating Martin Luther King Day


Abby Parr, Cheif Editor

On Monday, January 17, staff, faculty, and students welcomed special guest, Floyd Keith in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. He gave his “Being an Ally in 2022” speech and went into depth about why this day is so special. “I have been a professional for about 5 decades now, since the 70s. I spent 30 years as a collegiate football coach, then I spent 13 years as the executive director of a national governing body for The Black Coaches and Administrators. We advocate for equity and employment for sports professionals at all levels,” explained Keith. After that, he went on to start his own business and became CEO of PPA Professional Services which included professional development, and advocacy for diversity and inclusion, on many levels. “This is something you do because you are passionate about it. I was inspired by my love of coaching,” he said. Keith has covered the map when it comes to speaking and visiting other sports organizations. To name a couple of them would be The University of Notre Dame and The University of Central Florida, along with many school organizations and even in front of Congress. He said over time, he has spoken at anywhere from 30-35 different organizations. Although this was the first time many people here at GCCC were getting to know who he was, this was not Keiths first time visiting Garden City. “I came here on a recruiting trip in 1980, looking for players when I was the head coach at Howard University, and GCCC was known for having pretty good talent,” said Keith, he ended up recruiting 2 of the GCCC players. Many people appreciated and welcomed what he had to say. There were roughly about 150 people who were in attendance during the presentation. Freshman Ryanna Johnson said Martin Luther King Day is one that should always be celebrated because it helped shape our societies today. “We all live in this world together where we can be friends and family. Back then, it was not so graceful or nice. People wanted to hurt and kill each other because they did not want to see change,” said Johnson. She mentioned how he helped pave the way for equality. “MLK left a lasting impact on tons of people in our society today. Many of our societal views came from the impact he left and influenced how we should treat each other. He did not have to change who he was to get people to see through his eyes and understand what many people were going through,” Johnson said. Freshman Alanna Neilson was also in attendance and said that it is sad that we live in a world where racism is a thing. “We are continuing to have the same issues that he was dealing with years ago, such as social injustices and similar racist tendencies. We are still having to have the same conversations that they had to have, when it was even worse,” Neilson explained. She also said that forgiveness is important, so you do not have to live life with regret or wonder why they hurt you. This was a day for tons to come together in celebration and it really revealed the depth of diversity that lives here at GCCC.