The Birmingham Metro Southern Christian Leadership Conference hosted an awards banquet at the Sheraton Civic Center Grand Ballroom in Birmingham on Wednesday, April 4.
The banquet marked the 10th annual Keeper of the Dream awards ceremony and coincided with the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968. To honor King, the SCLC named the awards banquet, “A Golden Halo Fit for a King.”
Among the honorees was Apple CEO, Tim Cook, who received the 2018 Civil Rights Award. The award recognizes individuals who have continued the legacy of the SCLC’s founding president, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who worked tirelessly to advance human and civil rights.
“We are thrilled to welcome Tim Cook back home to Alabama, and know it will be a meaningful opportunity for the young people in our community to hear from an Alabamian who is using his voice on the national stage to advocate for civil and human rights,” said Bishop Calvin Woods, the Birmingham Metro SCLC president.
Cook was born in Mobile, Alabama, and graduated from Auburn University in 1982. He has led Apple since 2011. Cook has cited King as a major influence in his life and beliefs. Consequently, Cook advocates for equality along with safe and fair conditions in the workplace.
“As we know, progress doesn’t follow a straight line, it’s not a sure thing. It takes determination, it takes hard work, it takes sacrifice,” Cook said.
He followed his statement by saying that King’s dream has not yet been completely fulfilled.
“We are still faced with widespread inequality, discrimination, inequality of economic opportunity and inequality in the justice system,” said Cook.
Yet, he also added that despite his frustration, he has hope. Cook cited the March for our Lives Parkland survivors and those who stand up for the “Dreamers” as children who are continuing King’s dream for equality.
“Right now, like back then, something big is happening,” he said. “Fifty years later it’s up to us to answer Dr. King’s call for justice.”
The rest of the award recipients included: Woke Vote Founder, DeJuana Thompson; Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA) President, Isabel Rubio; and
Birmingham Business Resource Center President, Robert Dickerson.
Hannah Hutson, Editor-in-Chief