Judge Hatchett to speak at annual MLK Jr. event

Mariana Silva


Judge to speak in KSC today

Judge Hatchet is the keynote speaker of “A Message that Transcends Time.”

TV host says King’s message is timeless

Remembering the words of Martin Luther King Jr. and telling students to embrace the differences that connect people to each other are parts of the message Judge Glenda A. Hatchett wants to pass along today at Kent State.

“One of the things that makes us rich is that we are different,” said Hatchett, who will speak at 2:15 p.m. today in the Student Center Ballroom.

She is the keynote speaker of “A Message that Transcends Time.” The event will mark the 8th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at the university.

Hatchett said Martin Luther King Jr. was a visionary who understood diversity and his message was for all people, not only for blacks.

“It is a message about treating human beings with dignity and respect,” Hatchett said, “and that is a message that is timeless.”

The judge will answer students’ questions after the speech, and a book signing and reception will follow the event. She is the author of “Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say!: Saving Your Child from a Troubled World,” a national bestseller based on her experience as a jurist and the mother of two boys.

Hatchett was invited to talk on campus not only because she is a TV host, but mostly because of her ability to talk to and work with youth, said Alfreda Brown, Kent State’s vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Hatchett is a national spokesperson for the Court Appointed Special Advocates, a nonprofit organization that teaches its volunteers how to represent abused and neglected children.

In 2003, Hatchett was recognized as Woman of the Year by the national organization 100 Black Men of America. In the same year, she received the Roscoe Pound Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the highest award for outstanding work in criminal justice.

“She has a very strong message of how things should be,” Brown said.

Brown said people should always remember what the Civil Rights Movement was about and the significance it holds for all people.

“It is important for the campus community to remember what Martin Luther King stood for and the fact that he had a message for everyone,” Brown said. “He had some profound statements that bring people together beyond differences.”

Brown said participating in the celebrations and recalling Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is important for today’s students who were not around during the Civil Rights Movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s.

“When you have a celebration of who he is, of what he has done and remembering his life, it puts everybody back at that point in time,” Brown said.

Before the address today, a cultural celebration with music, poetry and dance organized by students and student organizations will take place at 1 p.m. in the Kiva.

Contact diversity reporter Mariana Silva at [email protected].