With the rapid approach of Dream Weekend 2020 — our community’s inclusive tribute to the humanitarian vision of slain Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — we are encouraged by the outreach of Cleveland State Community College and Lee University in leading the coming observation.
We are equally excited about a special guest who is visiting Cleveland Middle School on Friday. She is Brianna Mason, Miss Tennessee 2019, who is the first African American woman to wear this title.
Crowned on the evening of June 29 at UT-Knoxville’s Thompson Boling Arena, she went on to represent Tennessee at the Miss America pageant on Dec. 19.
A UT alumnus who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees (psychology and elementary education) in 2017 and 2018, Brianna is being hosted in her Cleveland visit by 100 Black Men of Bradley County Inc.
Her visit to CMS comes with great purpose: She will be meeting with students, many of whom are mentees affiliated with 100 BMBC’s mentoring and scholarship program. This noble initiative not only provides big-brother relationships between the organization’s members and impressionable youngsters, it also offers scholarships to students in need — at the middle, secondary and post-secondary levels.
We welcome Brianna to Cleveland, and we thank her for visiting our community and lending an ear to our children.
Her visit is just the beginning of an inspiring eight days of activities. Let’s review what we know so far, with the CSCC events falling under the umbrella of Dream Weekend 2020.
On Saturday, organizers will host a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Celebration at Cleveland High School. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. and the program will get underway at 9.
Guest speaker will be Franklin McCallie, former principal of Kirkwood High School in Chattanooga and co-founder of chattanoogaconnected.com. McCallie was the first white administrator appointed to the Howard School.
Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for adults. For more information about the breakfast, contact Lawrence Armstrong at 423-650-0701 or 423-432-9776, or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday, Dream Weekend 2020 continues with Cleveland’s inaugural MLK March. It will begin at 9 a.m. from the Bradley County Courthouse and travel down Ocoee Street. Marchers — people of all colors, ages, beliefs, denominations and cultures are invited — are asked to gather at the Courthouse between 8 and 9 a.m.
The procession will end in a convocation, complete with a community choir which is also open to the public. The Broad Street United Methodist Church service will get underway at 10 a.m.
That evening, the MLK observance shifts to Lee University.
On Monday evening at 7 o’clock, a lecture on the historical connections between music, protest, theology and the struggle for freedom will be offered in the Johnson Lecture Hall at 7 p.m. Titled “Resistance, Lament and Praise: The History and Practice of African American Protest Music,” it will be led by Dr. Ruth Wienk, assistant professor of sociology, and Dr. Mary McCampbell, associate professor of humanities who leads the work of Lee’s Cultural Diversity Committee.
On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Lee University alumnus Mo Huggins, a pastor at Stevens Creek Church in August, Ga., will lead a special chapel service at 10:40 a.m. That evening, at 7 p.m. in the Rose Lecture Hall in the Helen DeVos College of Education, a 2018 documentary (“King in the Wilderness”) featuring the final chapters of King’s life will be held. Chattanooga racial justice advocate Donivan Brown will facilitate an open discussion.
On Wednesday, Jan. 22, the semester’s first Black Student Union will take place in Room 207 of the Humanities Center. It, too, is open to the public.
On Thursday, Jan. 23, a panel discussion titled “Bridging our Parallel Lives: Lee University and College Hill Community,” will kick off at 7 p.m. in the Johnson Lecture Hall. Dr. Arlie Tagayuna, associate professor of sociology, will serve as host.
On Friday, Jan. 24, an open discussion titled “Help Me Be Sensitive,” will be hosted by the Student Leadership Council in the Johnson Lecture Hall. It will begin at 7 p.m. It will feature student stories and perspectives on social issues impacting them and the surrounding community.
For more information about the CSCC events, contact Willie Thomas at 423-472-7141 or send an email to email@example.com. For more information about Lee University events, contact Dr. Mary McCampbell at 423-614-8353 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although brainstormed by CSCC and Lee University organizers, we remind our hometown residents: All events are open to the public.