Caltrans United Negro College Committee Fundraiser
"Without education, you're not going anywhere in this world,â€ said the late Malcolm El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X).
Caltrans staff organizers for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) held the annual fund-raiser luncheon on Monday, February 22, 2010 to help send college-bound students to universities all over the United States. This event furthered the mission of those who have paved the way for people of all backgrounds to have access to education and opportunity, and to prove their abilities beyond their color, creed, origin, or lifestyle.
The lineup began with motivational speaker and author Barbara Perkins. Perkins spoke of the importance of understanding the sacrifices that were made by late African-American leaders such as Mary McLeod Bethune and Rosa Parks. Perkins also talked about her experience working to influence public policy for Haiti. She also convincingly covered the need for African Americans to volunteer as mentors to change the lives of children.
To sum up her thoughts on Black History Month, Perkins said, “It is about the connections that we make. Try to make connections that you have not made before, understand somebody that you don’t understand, make peace with someone. You will feel good.”
Lead vocalist Gary Gordon and saxophonist Robert Colvin of District 7’s band, Traffic Jam, kept the room charged with their soulful performance of Donna Hathaway’s song, “Some Day We’ll All Be Free.”
Maliq Moye, the 12 year-old son of Office Technician Nikita Peterson, blessed the audience with his speech about what Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech meant to him. Moye exhibited the same confidence speaking in front of the crowd as Thomas Knox, the event’s master of ceremonies.
To cap off the event Equal Employment Opportunity Manager Gwiin Correa’s son Lamont Webb and Staff Services Analyst Gregory Townsend performed a short play entitled “The Meeting.” “The Meeting” is a fictional account of a meeting between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X in which they debate, criticize, and see the similarities of each other’s approach to civil justice in the United States.
“The play gave us the opportunity to show our audience what this moment in history might have been like if these two civil rights leaders had an opportunity to collaborate and merge their movements,” said Townsend.
With all of the participants and great food, this event proved to be more than just a fund-raiser. It was a brief glimpse into the immense history of African Americans in the United States and the abundant talent within District 7.
“The UNCF is excited about Caltrans efforts and dedication to the our mission. The UNCF believes in investing in America’s future by providing scholarships to students attending universities across the country,” said Curtis Silvers, the Los Angeles area director of the UNCF.
Stephanie Jones, the Graphics Services Manager said that UNCF organizers have raised $1000 so far. The funds are part of the Caltrans team’s contribution as a sponsor for the UNCF Walkathon on Saturday, May 15, 2010.
“This is a good example of something that is really positive and what is great about Caltrans, especially District 7,” said new District Director Mike Miles.
If you would like to contribute to the UNCF or if you are seeking scholarship assistance, please visit www.uncf.org.