The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Martin Luther King celebrated at formal dinner as a part of Black History month

As a part of Black History month, a dinner was held to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Feb. 10 in the D’Angelo Center Ballroom.

The event featured performances by St. John’s Voices of Victory Gospel Choir and The Rod Rodgers Dance Company, as well as speeches by St. John’s student Jordan Powell and keynote speaker Sabrina Lamb.  

The event began with a prayer and a summary of Dr. King’s life and work.

Voices of Victory performed next, singing songs of freedom and peace, such as “Thank God Almighty I’m Free At Last” and Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.”  Mr. Nigel Gretton, the conductor of Voices of Victory, praised Dr. King’s work.

“I think about people like Dr. King as planting a seed that many of us have the responsibility to carry and nurture,” Mr. Gretton said.

Jordan Powell, a legal studies major, gave a speech expressing gratitude towards the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as taking great pride in President Obama.

The keynote speaker was Sabrina Lamb, the founder and chief executive officer of She spoke about the importance of financial security. Lamb stressed that individuals must not take a “vow of poverty” by staying in the dark in regards to their own finances.  She urged that “Economic justice is as urgent now as it was then,” and pushed students to start saving as early as possible for the future.  

A former comedian, Lamb lightened the mood at times.

“I went to Lincoln University, and majored in extracurricular activities. There are three major issues here: money, money, and mo’ money,” she said.

She ended her speech by challenging the audience to conduct themselves with confidence and to “walk like you own the earth.”

Powell, the first speaker of the night, emphasized the importance of talking about humanitarian issues.

 “People need to realize that money is something you need to take care of, just like another person,” he said.

 Alexandra McCall, a mass communications major, and member of Haraya said that Lamb’s speech was uplifting.

 “I really liked Ms. Lamb’s urgency to educate and uplift the underprivileged youth with knowledge about money,” McCall said.

 Genelle Cox, a psychology major and also a member of Haraya agreed with Lamb’s point that we must assume our own financial responsibility in order to succeed.

“As people, we need to realize that it is not the government’s fault we don’t have money, it is our own,” said Cox.

Serena Romero, a legal studies major and member of Haraya thought the event was a great way to teach and expose students to their heritage.

“It’s a lesson in culture,” said Romero, “Students take a lot away from it.”

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