By Molly Mills
Attorney Bakari Sellers talked about “the journey to excellence” Wednesday night at Fountain Street Church. The speech was the second in the series organized by Grand Rapids Community College’s Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion.
Sellers mentioned many famous men and women who positively impacted the civil rights movement including George A. Elmore, Sarah Mae Flemming, Emmett Till and more. He explained the importance of everyone who partook in the civil rights movement. Sellers also talked about his small hometown in South Carolina and how he got to where he is today.
Throughout the lecture, Sellers mentioned some inspiring quotes that he lives by and wanted to share with the audience.
“Love your neighbor even when they don’t love you,” Sellers said. “Dream with your eyes open.”
Sellers mentioned his father, who is one of his biggest inspirations and also is civil rights activist, and all he did to help the civil rights movement. The audience responded well to his upbeat personality and the way he brought positive light to serious topics.
GRCC student Lylan Dao, 20, of Gaylord, Michigan, was pleased with Sellers’s presentation.
“I had to come to this because of a class, but I thought it would be good to go,” Dao said. “I’m happy I did because it was very inspirational, and I’ll be going to the next one.”
Another audience member, Nate Chapla, 31, of Grand Rapids, liked the experience of going to the Diversity Lecture Series.
“My friend told me about this lecture,” Chapla said. “It’s nice hearing an actual speaker and having a forum. It’s better than seeing it online or on TV and being able to critically think about these topics.”
Following Sellers’s presentation, he shared what he hoped those in attendance took away from his words and what they do with them in the future.
“I hope that somebody wants to go out and change the world when they leave this room,” Sellers said. “I don’t know if I touched anybody here, but I pray that there is at least one person who looks at the world a little bit differently than when they walked in.”
Feminist author and journalist Jessica Valenti will be the last to speak in this year’s lecture series on Wednesday, March 20, also at Fountain Street Church, located at 24 Fountain St. NE in Grand Rapids.