You Are Somebody – Be the Change


By Jennifer Igiri

Jesse Jackson hosted a motivational event at Middlesex University, commemorating 50 years since Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” Speech.

Middlesex staff and students were honoured to have him speak with 700 members of the university on Wednesday 4th December 2013. The event, entitled ‘I Am Somebody’ spurred the audience to rise to the challenge of changing their attitudes and choosing to live in harmony with each other. Jackson’s message was to encourage them to be greater, inspire them to aim higher, and to motivate them to work harder.

A mixture of live music from the MDX Singers Ensemble and from Jackson’s daughter, Santita, was also showcased, along with a student made film that highlighted a few successes from his career. The event was truly a warm, encouraging and uplifting experience.

Some of Jackson’s most inspiring quotes during the event, said in person or shown as part of the film footage, were: “Red, yellow, black, brown, white. We are all precious in God’s sight.”, “Keep hope alive”, “It’s important that we know that people care but it’s better that people know that we care”,“and “You are somebody. You can make it!”

Jackson began the event by asking the students and staff where they were living before they came to study at Middlesex. The response served to highlight the diverse, multi-national body of the university, emphasisingthe beauty of unity and bringing together many different cultures. Students and staff were encouraged to remember what has been done for their generations, to move forward and to focus on fighting today’s battle.

Jackson spoke at 2 other universities while visiting the UK – Oxford and Cambridge.

Change is possible. As Jackson said “not all of us can be famous, but all of us can be great.”


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