After Human Rights Summit, ‘Let’s Open Our Hearts to Each Other’

MacKenzie Jenkins

MacKenzie Jenkins

At the July 12 memorial for Dallas’ five fallen officers, President Obama asked,

“Can we find the character, as Americans, to open our hearts to each other?”

Several days earlier, the “Human Rights Dallas” summit, sponsored by SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, would answer that question before our president could even ask it.

Throughout the July 9 event, creative-expression group Journeyman Ink had the hundreds of community leaders and students in attendance recite one poignant truth:

“My voice has power to speak my truth and share my light.”

That message continues to resonate.

As our nation struggles to rebuild from the powerful earthquakes of violence we’ve recently experienced – and cope with aftershocks of grief, and perhaps fear – I hope we can find comfort and common ground in the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Let’s work to open our hearts to each other — to use our voices to speak our truth and share our light.

— MacKenzie Jenkins, a third-year SMU student majoring in human rights and public policy while serving as a Peer Academic Leader and Tower Scholar. Her father, Charles Jenkins, was jail manager for the Plano Police Department until his death in 2010.

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