King visits DickinsonThe niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday visited Dickinson with a message — civil rights still has a place today, even in North Dakota.
By: April Baumgarten, The Dickinson Press
The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday visited Dickinson with a message — civil rights still has a place today, even in North Dakota.
“Human rights and civil rights are connected, and you have human beings in North Dakota,” King said. “There are so many layers of civil rights.”
Dr. Alveda King, a civil rights activist and King for America founder, stopped at the Dickinson State University Student Center to meet students and residents at 3 p.m. She later advocated a pro-life stance to an audience at Trinity High School auditorium.
Robin Johnson, Badlands Right to Life political action chairman, said she was excited to meet King.
“It’s not too often that Dickinson sees a national or international personality come to town,” Johnson said.
The population of western North Dakota has increased in the last year due to an oil boom. Dickinson expects its population to exceed 20,000 by next year. King said oil production could bring diverse groups to the area.
“With the economic surge, more people will come,” King said. “Perhaps you will have populations you have not had before. Maybe this is the time to be educated as you prepare to receive all those people.”
Johnson said civil rights affects everyone, including residents in North Dakota. She added every community has a different outlook on diversity, but it is still important to talk about it.
“The best way to make a good impact on civil rights is right at home,” Johnson said. “Some are interested at working hard at it.”
It is important be aware of diversity and civil rights in North Dakota because “we don’t have as much diversity here,” DSU student Adam Grimsley said.
The Internet can be used as a tool for education, King said, and people have more history available to them. It is also important to talk with each other about diversity and cultural differences.
“We just need to talk about things and say we are going to be meeting that we never met before. They are going to be coming from communities around the world,” she said.
King added there are many opportunities to learn about the world, such as at school, church or even at the dinner table at home.
King is the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s younger brother, the late Rev. Alfred Daniel King and Naomi Barber King.