To promote dialogue across Beaufort County on issues of civil rights, poverty and race, Beaufort County Community College brought together local political, religious and community leaders for second Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration on January 20 at 8:30 a.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room of Building 10 on BCCC's campus. The event featured keynote speaker Pastor Russell Wilkins, senior minister of St. John Church of Christ, and music from the St. John Church of Christ Ensemble.
Last year the college invited multiple pillars of the community under one roof so that religious congregations and community groups could share in their remembrance of Dr. King and his commitment to civil rights and equal opportunity.
Along with BCCC, this year's event was sponsored by B.E. Singleton & Sons, Inc., Cornerstone Family Worship Center, St. John Church of Christ-Disciples of Christ, Trinity Episcopal Church, Asbury United Methodist Church, Mrs. Betty Randolph and Professional Tax Service.
Race-based disparities in education still exist in Beaufort County. Currently, six percent of African-American residents hold a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 24 percent of white residents. In today's world, equal opportunity is linked closely with access to higher education and workforce development. A post-secondary education, whether in the form of an industry-recognized credential, associate's degree or bachelor's degree, is key to entry into the middle class, as degree holders can expect to earn between 20-60 percent more than Beaufort County residents with only a high school diploma, according to the US Census Bureau.
The college works diligently to promote higher education as an avenue for economic and social mobility for the residents of the county. Programs such as TRiO/Student Support Services and Men of Success offer additional support to first-generation college students, students experiencing poverty and minority males, in the case of the latter.
BCCC continues to provide opportunity and hope to students in Beaufort County, ensuring that the work and legacy of Dr. King, and the women and men who worked alongside him, continue to make the world a more just and equitable place.
- Attila Nemecz
- Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
- Beaufort County Community College
- 5337 U.S. Highway 264 East
- Washington, N.C. 27889
- Ph: 252-940-6387
- Cell: 252-940-8672