Shown above Isabel Rubio and Wendell Paris
The 28th year of the Realizing the Dream program to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. was held this weekend in Tuscaloosa.
The program, a joint effort of Stillman College, University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College and the Tuscaloosa SCLC, includes a legacy awards banquet, a concert and community breakfast and march on the third Monday – National Holiday for DR. King.
At the awards banquet Friday evening at the Sellers Auditorium in the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus, Wendell Paris, long-time civil rights leader from Sumter County was honored with the Mountaintop Award. Paris, a native of Sumter County, moved with his family to Tuskegee and attended Tuskegee University where he joined SNCC. Paris also worked for many years with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives at their Rural Training and Research Center in Epes, Alabama. Paris is now an Assistant Pastor at the New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi.
Isabel Rubio of Birmingham received the Call to Conscience Award for her work with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, on behalf of full equality for Latino people. Fan Yang, a PhD student at the University of Alabama, was given the Horizon Award for her work with Heart Touch, an outreach organization with Asian-American students and community members.
John Quinones of ABC-TV news and the developer of the What Would You Do? television show, which poses ethical and moral questions with viewers of scenarios with ordinary people, was the keynote speaker for the banquet.
Quinones who was born in the barrios of San Antonio, Texas gave the story of his life and success in television attributing many of his opportunities in broadcasting to the work of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.
His theme was that there are many stories in our communities that will not get told unless we work to tell them.
Kirk Franklin, renowned gospel artist gave the concert