I am deeply, deeply honored to be the 2011 keynote speaker for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast before the Decatur County Minority Development Association here in Decatur, Alabama. So deeply inspiring, this group I am with this morning. The Holiday Inn Hotel here, the largest meeting place they have in the city, is absolutely packed, wall to wall, and all the stakeholders seem to be in the room. Judges, business leaders,
pastors, community leaders, city council members, and best of all, young people are present.
This group of volunteer leaders, from both the black and white community, have together made more than $250,000 in college seed grants, which are scholarships to youth here in Decatur. Powerful.
There are 20 Fortune 500 companies here in Decatur, Alabama alone. With this group alone, there should not be a problem they could not solve.
The theme of today's meeting is "unity," and it is present here today in spades. Dr. King spent a good part of 1966, the year I was born, traveling extensively in and through Alabama, promoting his brand of empowerment, justice and freedom. After traveling more than 6 million miles during the first 10 years of his movement work, I believe Dr. King would be proud of what is going on here today. I spoke with my personal hero and mentor, civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young this morning, and he was very pleased to hear that I spent Dr. King Day here with the fine people of Alabama.
Finally, the Bryant Foundation, my personal foundation, was honored to announce a $500 seed college scholarship grant today to a deserving young person now going to college. Inspired.
Onward with HOPE
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