Colleges engage in “Selma” event

Student reads quotes that are inscribed inside the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.
Student reads quotes that are inscribed inside the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.

Students and faculty from Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Ferrum College, Hollins University, Roanoke College, Radford University’s DPT Program, and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine gathered at the Grandin Theater on Tuesday, January 27 for a screening of the Academy Award nominated film, Selma. 

In addition to about 300 members of these senior higher education communities including their presidents, the screening was attended by leaders of the Roanoke Valley community including Jefferson College’s Board vice-chair, Ms. Ellen Wade and Board member Ms. Brenda Hale, RN.

Presidents at Colab, (from left) President Nathaniel L. Bishop, Jefferson College of Health Sciences;  President Cynda Johnson, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine; President Nancy Gray, Hollins University and President Michael Maxey, Roanoke College. President Jennifer Braaten, Ferrum College not pictured.
Presidents at Colab, (from left) President Nathaniel L. Bishop, Jefferson College of Health Sciences; President Cynda Johnson, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine; President Nancy Gray, Hollins University and President Michael Maxey, Roanoke College. President Jennifer Braaten, Ferrum College not pictured.

The event began with a prescreening discussion about current topics in the country in relation to those depicted in the film; giving the audience context for the time period in which the film takes place. Students from each of the participating institutions stood during the discussion time and read the quotes inscribed inside the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC.

“It is important that each of us take responsibility to help build ‘the beloved community’ envisioned by Dr. King,” said Dr. Nathaniel L. Bishop, President of Jefferson College of Health Sciences, who led organization of the event. “And by bringing all of these wonderful students and educators together tonight, we can begin anew, conversations that build upon the legacy of Dr. King in equality for all and in developing stronger communities.”

Following the film, the audience was invited to the Grandin Colab on Grandin Road for conversation and reflection while enjoying pizza and soft drinks.

“It was such a great experience to see all of these students coming together to view this great film and to engage with each other in conversation,” Ellen Wade said. Brenda Hale added “This movie portrays a significant turning point in our history. I was thrilled to hear the dialogue and the quotes of Dr. King read by the students, and to view this movie with them.”

“We hope to continue to offer opportunities like this where academic communities can come together for conversation and discussion,” Dr. Bishop said after the screening. “It’s been a rich experience and serves as a good platform for continuing collaborations.”