Fannie Brayboy '08, a 2011 graduate of Yale Divinity School, delivered an inspiring keynote address at the Intercultural Center's Second Annual Black and White Ball on Feb. 28. The celebration in the Betty R. Tipton Room was held to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement of the1960s.
Brayboy spoke eloquently on "The Power of an Idea." She said King's vibrancy, determination and oratories, especially his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, DC in 1963, fueled the nationwide struggle for change. Citing King's point that 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation African Americans were still at the bottom of the economic spectrum, Brayboy said that not much has changed since King gave that speech 50 years ago. "With the election of Barack Obama in 2008 many would have us believe that we magically and instantaneously entered into a post-racial, post-stereotype, post-bias society. Nothing could be further from the truth."
Just as Dr. King had a dream and call of hope for equality, Brayboy, saying the world needs new ideas about the value of life, told the audience, "Here's an idea: You control your own path. You are responsible for your actions and you alone. You can be whoever and whatever you say you are . . . Once you realize what an amazing gift you have in your ability to dream, to have hopeful ideas, your capacity for change and success can be endless. You are the master of your own destiny."
During the event, the Intercultural Center also accepted donations for the No Freeze Shelter and the First Baptist Church. Leigh Duffy, director of the No Freeze Shelter, and Fred Shapiro, pastor of the First Baptist Church, attended the ball.