College students can fix ills fostered by Trump, MLK speaker says

By: Olanma Hazel Mang
Jan 21, 2019

The Martin Luther King Jr. ceremony was held on Thursday, Jan. 17. (Panther photo by Olanma Hazel Mang)


College students have the tools to fix the ills of society, said the guest speaker at Claflin University’s Martin Luther King celebration on Thursday.

The event was held at the university’s W.V.M. auditorium, where Aurelio Givens addressed Claflin students. The theme was “We Are All One Humanity.”

“It's going to be you that corrects some of the stupidity of our president,” Givens said. “There is a need for emerging leaders -- visionary leaders -- to make that difference, to correct the ills of society.”

In an interview after the event, Givens said there will be fallout from sociological abuse, alluding to the leadership of President Donald Trump.

The future leaders who will bring hope and change, Givens said, are college students. To effect this change, he urged them to be true to themselves and to be fearless in offering dissenting opinions.

“After all, when you think about it, there is something we can learn from the craziness of number 45,” Givens said, referring to Trump, “and one of those things is that it’s OK to be yourself.”

In keeping with the theme, Givens said people must help one another to achieve greatness because everyone was “created in one likeness,” none greater or lesser than the other.

His speech charged the audience to transform the world through education and principle. Inspired by King’s life, Givens listed 10 standards that guarantee success:

  • "You must believe in yourself; your dignity matters."
  • "Be fearless. Don't be afraid, even of failing because ailing has been designed to teach lessons so that repeat it over and over again."
  • "Stop looking for somebody else to fight for you and fight for yourself."
  • "Keep moving. Regardless of what happens in life, keep moving."
  • "Follow your morals.”
  • "Act now and take responsibility for your actions."
  • "Be determined to achieve excellence."
  • "Stay true to your principles."
  • "Stand for something because your dignity matters."
  • "Have a dream."

Senior business administration major Emmanuel Feaster said Givens’ speech was relevant and inspirational. Like King, the college senior is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Givens is the CEO of The ADG Group, a leadership coaching and consulting center in Charlotte, N.C. He is also affiliated with the fraternity.

Aurelio Givens addresses Claflin students. (Panther photo by Olanma Hazel Mang)

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