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TAASU hosts Twenty-First Annual Freedom Breakfast

Chancellor Leo Morton (far left) with members of TAASU and Paris Saunders (center)
Chancellor Leo Morton (far left) with members of TAASU and Paris Saunders (center)

The African American Student Union (TAASU) held its 21st Annual Freedom Breakfast to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Co-sponsoring the event was the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) and the Activity and Program Council (APC). The event took place in Pierson Auditorium.

“We really do this to pay honor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” TAASU president Darius Jackson said. “It’s important that we continue to honor such a powerful person, especially for all the students.”

TAASU has a long history at UMKC representing and supporting the African-American students.

“Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., students felt there was a definite need for some type of board or council that would strengthen communications between black and white students. This type of thinking culminated in the formation of the Human Resources Council in the spring of 1968. This was to be the start of the Black Student Union at UMKC,” according to a passage from TAASU’s online history.

The theme of this year’s gathering was “Be the Change You Want to See.”

Traditionally, the breakfast is held in January as a precursor to Black History Month, which takes place in February.

The event kicked off at 7:30 a.m. with a buffet-style breakfast.

Following the breakfast, there was a series of speeches and performances. Chancellor Leo Morton spoke to those in attendance.

Musician Rudy Currence plays the piano and signs at the Freedom Breakfast
Musician Rudy Currence plays the piano and signs at the Freedom Breakfast

Nationally-recognized musical artist Rudy Currence delivered this year’s keynote address.

Currence was also this year’s featured musical artist, and he performed several numbers for the crowd.

Every year, TAASU presents one distinguished individual with their annual Leadership Award.

This year’s Leadership Award recipient was Assistant Vice Chancellor for Students Paris Saunders.

Seabrooks, who is also a UMKC alumnus, will return to UMKC in February to deliver a guest lecture.

According to Multicultural Student Affairs Service Coordinator Marissa Garcia, Seabrook’s lecture will be on “Hip-Hop’s effect on Consumer Trends,” and will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Feb 3 in Student Union Room 301.

Seabrook’s presentation is one of several events that will be held at UMKC during Black History Month.

To learn more about TAASU or Black History Month events please visit www.umkc.edu/msa/ .

jhoermann@unews.com

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