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Volusia Community Remembers the Dream and Vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. featuring Keynote Speeches from B-CU Interim President Hubert Grimes and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson 


Bethune-Cookman University celebrated in the Volusia County Martin Luther King, Jr. 50th Annual Celebration. The celebratory events began Saturday, January 13th in the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center with “The State of the Dream,” keynote address given by Dr. Michael Dyson, preacher, scholar, public intellectual and activist. Dyson picked the scab off the resurgence of hate in America in an evening of edutainment: challenging, prodding-  and above all- speaking truth to power, calling for an end to discrimination of all forms during Saturday’s event. Dyson, whose wide-ranging remarks ranged from politics to race and gender equality, drew a standing ovation from a crowd that numbered more than 750.

“Dr. Michael Eric Dyson was off the charts! Hilariously funny, yet deeply profound," said Jo Jo Oneal, radio personality and emcee. To view his address click here: If You Don’t Know, Now You Know: Michael Eric Dyson Speaks Truth to Power.

Following, the weekend jumped into high gear with a county-wide community praise and worship celebration on Sunday at the Sanctuary in DeLand. To close out and commend the historic birthday of Dr. King, Interim President Hubert Grimes served as the keynote speaker for the MLK Deland 50th Annual Celebration Breakfast located on the campus of Stetson University. 

Before a crowd of more than 600 guests, Interim President Grimes shared highlights of Bethune Cookman University’s founder and dreamer Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, weaving the narrative of her influence on renown theologian Howard Thurman, who in turn had a profound influence on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Quoting Dr. King, Grimes shared “The time is always right to do what is right.” Grimes closed with a call to action telling attendees to “take up the leg of your race.” 

Thereafter Interim President Grimes led a march from Stetson University where the commemorative weekend’s event culminated at Earl Brown Park.  Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, South Ormond Neighborhood Center and Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church also participated in the festivities. 

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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