Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

John Legend Pays Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. in Tuscaloosa

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

John Legend Pays Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. in Tuscaloosa

Article excerpt

America's youth and young adults have the potential to make a real change, a chance to end educational inequality and continue some of the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr., said singer- songwriter John Legend at The University of Alabama Sunday night.

"We know that you, our nation of young people, are next in line to carry on his work," Legend said. "As students, you have so much potential to create change in the world."

Legend focused on what he called educational inequality -- the fact that the U.S. has fallen from first to 18th in the world in terms of high school graduation rates and that in certain areas, high schools aren't educational centers preparing kids for a future, but instead are "dropout factories."

"The education system in the U.S. is broken," Legend said. "We are not giving the chance for kids to succeed, there is educational inequality."

It's something that must change, he said.

"Educational inequality lies at the heart of the problem, but we have to strive to make equality happen, it's not just a solution," Legend said.

In 2007, Legend created the Show Me Campaign, which aims to break the cycle of poverty. The campaign focuses on giving every child in the U.S. a quality education through the promotion of "scalable, proven solutions and programs." Legend supports educational programs with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and he also serves on the board for Stand for Children and Teach for America.

Legend said Sunday he hoped the students in the audience would be motivated to make a difference. If you are blessed, it's important that you have to pass that blessing on, to use your resources for good, he said. …

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