News, On Campus

Armstrong Urges Students to Love One Another at MLK Memorial

For Rev. Zenetta M. Armstrong, the keynote speaker at this year’s Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gathering, the only way to truly fight racial injustice is through love.

“No matter what we accomplish, no matter what … it begins with love because God is love, and we have been formed out of love,” Armstrong said. “Brothers and sisters, the human family was formed out of love, regardless of race, regardless of sex. We are all one in Christ.”

Campus Ministry hosted members of the Boston College community in the Murray Function Room on Monday night to honor King’s legacy through prayer and worship.

Led by Meyer Chambers, the campus minister for liturgical arts, the BC Liturgy Arts Group performed gospel songs such as “Precious Lord” and “We Shall Overcome” throughout the night.

Kudzai Kapurura, BC’s 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship recipient, spoke at the event, sharing how King continues to influence her passion for service.

“I’ve been inspired by Dr. King to move with intention throughout my life, to be drawn into the service, to run toward good trouble, to ask tough questions, to challenge for the sake of justice even if it meant some relationships were sacrificed,” Kapurura, MCAS ’23, said. 

Kapurura also said that King—being highly educated himself—helped her recognize the importance of her studies at BC in furthering her goal to serve others.

“By studying MLK, I understand how meaningful education can be used as a way to provide a more enriched perspective and understanding of the problems that plague our world,” Kapurura said.

During her keynote address, Armstrong said King challenged the lasting effects of slavery in the United States, which she said are just as prevalent now as they were when he was alive.

“Martin Luther King helped us to understand that we are still in slavery because we are still living in Egypt,” Armstrong said. “There is still this wide disparity between the rich and the poor that existed in Egypt, between the pharaoh and those who were enslaved.”

So amid this injustice in the United States, Armstrong encouraged the audience to follow in King’s footsteps by dedicating their lives to loving and serving others.

“True love does not hurt,” Armstrong said. “So when we hurt each other, we have moved out of the light of love into the darkness of whatever. See, we move back and forth because we come from a broken world.”

Armstrong said that, like King, she dedicates her life to serving those who society marginalizes.

“There are people who are spiritually in need of all kinds of help [from] those of us who understand the love of God and want to share that to anyone in whatever category, social class or economic class or whatever,” Armstrong said.

She concluded by urging the audience to spread the light and love of God just as King did.

“Whatever you do, keep shining because … you are the light of Christ in the world,” Armstrong said. “And all the ways you show love, you’re shining and that’s what God wants you to do with your gifts. Wherever you go, shine, shine with the light of Christ, shine with loving acts, shine by seeing you care.”

February 7, 2023