The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Speakers pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Contrary to common belief, judges do not just sentence criminals to imprisonment; one judge has come to inspire students and remind them about a great man in history.

Last week, Patricia J. Titus, Superior Court Judge, was a guest speaker at the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute held in the Recital Hall.

The theme of Judge Titus’ speech was to remind everyone in attendance of what Dr. King fought for during his life and how his contributions were pivotal in establishing civil rights.

“The event is an annual commemoration of Dr. King’s life to help keep his legacy alive,” Leo Middleton, director of staff and student diversity, said.

ÿÿ Before he gave momentum to the Civil Rights’ Movement, Dr. King many degrees and titles during his time in college.

He became a minister at 18 and was ordained as a Baptist minister, received a B.A. in Sociology from Moorehouse College at 19.

King then graduated from Crozer Seminary at 22, and received a Ph.D in Systematic Theology from Boston University in 1955.

“There are certain things that can be learned in a classroom, especially about Dr. King,” Middleton said. “But there is a lot that we can get as a result of experiences such as this one.”

The hope is that students left the speech with a better understanding of who Dr. King was and what he meant not only to the Civil Rights Movement, but to American culture.

“It helps contribute to the development of a student or individual,” Middleton said.

The tribute to King was in part because February was Black History Month.

The monthlong celebration expanded from Negro History Week in 1976 by African Americans for the Study of Afro-American Life and History.

“Black History Month has evolved tremendously since its establishment in 1976 because we have so many young individuals that are coming up today who don’t necessarily know the leaders of the past,” Middleton said.

In addition to having a guest speaker, the event coordinated by Middleton, hosted a performane from the EC Chorale under the direction of Dr. Joanna Nachef.

“This year’s event was very inspirational. The singing performance by the chorale was very touching and I appreciate their performance,” Roosevelt Lucas, 23, sociology major, said.

Judge Titus is currently serving her second six-year term. She is assigned to the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice System and Los Angeles.

She presides over adult felony jury trials, felony sentencing hearings, felony probation violation hearings and felony progress reports.

“I was inspired to see an elected official of her status be from a minority background,” Whitney Kennedy, 21, business marketing major, said. “I want to be able to give back to the community just as she has.”

Besides enforcing justice in the system, Judge Titus is a frequent participant in career days held at local public and private schools.

“I love having opportunities to be out in the community,” Titus said.

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