January 21, 2013

Uniting as a community to REMEMBER. CELEBRATE. and ACT.

Each year the Y of Central Florida brings hundreds of community and business leaders together to celebrate the lives and legacies of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy, Orlando’s first African-American elected official.  The reason is simple: it supports our legacy as a Christian organization and brings our diverse community together in prayer just as Dr. King and Pappy Kennedy did with their lives.

This year’s speaker was Dr. Fitz Hill, President of Arkansas Baptist College and Co-Author of “Crackback!” How College Football Blindsides the Hopes of Black Coaches. Dr. Hill worked as a NCAA Division I head football coach before he became a top-level university administrator. He has spent half of his life researching challenges associated with race that are faced by African-American college coaches. His groundbreaking work, including a doctoral dissertation on the topic, has made Dr. Hill a nationally consulted expert who was asked to testify before a U.S. congressional committee. He has also appeared on numerous network television programs including “ESPN Outside The Lines,” “Cold Pizza,” “ABC Nightline” and “HBO Real Sports”. Dr. Hill, who received a bronze star while serving in the U.S. Army during Desert Storm, is also a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Diversity of Ethics at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Being the first black coach for San Jose State University, would not have been possible had it not been for Dr. King fighting for equality. We now have a responsibility to carry out that dream to be a blessing to others,” says Dr. Hill.

The YMCA of Central Florida is committed to improving the lives of all in Central Florida through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. “Dr. King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice and economic opportunity for all, and taught us that everyone has a role to play in making America what it ought to be,” said Jim Ferber, President & CEO of YMCA of Central Florida.