MLK Memorial Program

11-year-old Ikenna Obikulu gives Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech
Dr. Akil Khalfani (standing left) and Dr. Augustine A. Boakye (standing center) with the Consul Generals of Africa in the College’s African Institute
ECC Choir performs “Wade in the Water”

The spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. filled Essex County College’s Smith Hall throughout an emotional memorial program held on Tuesday, January 24.  The program was presented by the College’s Africana Institute and the Center for Global Education and Experiences (CGEE), in partnership with the African Consul Generals Group (ACGG) in New York. 

One of the highlights of the program came from 11-year-old Ikenna Obikulu, formerly from Orange, who dazzled the audience with his heart felt presentation of Dr. King’s immortal “I Have a Dream” speech from August 28, 1963. Ikenna, who gave the speech without the aid of notes, received a standing ovation at the conclusion. 

Eight Consul Generals of Africa brought greetings and calls to follow the work of Dr. King to bring peace and equality to the world. Following the program, the ambassadors and deputy ambassadors from South Africa, Senegal, Algeria, Angola, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, and Egypt were available to meet with audience members to discuss Consulate Services that people would usually need an appointment in New York to do.

In urging the audience to continue Dr. King’s dream, Dr. Akil Khalfani, Director of the College’s Africana Institute, said, “You have the ability to bring change to the world. Don’t sit on your laurels; you have to have passion. Let’s be impactful.”  

ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye, said in his welcome, “Today is truly a great day as we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He focused on peaceful equality and justice. We need to bring peace to the world.”