CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — As the Minister’s Alliance of Rhode Island handed out more than $500,000 in scholarship awards to students on the morning of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2018, local and state leaders also offered the young scholars advice and encouragement.
“There are reasons to smile. There are reasons for hope,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo. “And when we stay in the fight together, we make progress.”
“Dr. King, through his words and through his life, and through his death, reminded us that America is an idea,” said Sen. Jack Reed.
For 2018, keynote speaker The Rev. Dr. Sammy Vaughn also gave the large crowd at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet an urgent call to hold onto that idea — that all men are created equal.
“This is great. It’s so good to see all of you. I want to see you again in March. Amen, somebody–
“It’s so good to see all of you in January. I want to see you in August. Because the work of justice, and mercy and peace does not end at 11 o’clock when we leave this room,” he said.
Rev. Vaughn went on to encourage scholarship recipients to do well in class and in their communities.
“This hatred and this division that’s going on right now is exactly the opposite of what Martin Luther King wanted,” said Jim Vincent, the president of the Providence chapter of the NAACP. “He wanted to bring people together. He was a uniter, not a divider.”
The breakfast event — the 35th annual celebration of the legacy of Dr. King — also raised tens of thousands of dollars.
Here are the 2018 scholarship recipients: