Brother2Brother (B2B), Student Life, Black Student Union, and Black Faculty and Staff Association hosted “2024 Living the Dream Celebration” on Friday, Jan. 12, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16, a day in which Ivy Tech Community College gives all its students, faculty, and staff the day off to honor his legacy and uphold his teachings.

The celebration included a brunch catered by Foster’s Cafe and Cateringa vendor of Ivy Tech Lawrence and Ivy Tech Indy culinary alum – and a panel of three local professionals:

  • Anthony Conley, a former African American, United States, and World History instructor at Ivy Tech, is now the grants compliance coordinator at Edna Martin Christian Center.
  • Anthony E. Walton is a marketing coordinator for WSP USA, content writer, marketing strategist, and consultant. 
  • Dr. Leslie Kenneth Etienne is the director of the African Studies program at Indiana University Indianapolis and founding executive director of the Center for Africana Studies and Culture. 

The MC of the event was Georgina Owens, the senior administrative assistant of the division of diversity and community engagement. 

Before the panel commenced, the Black National Anthem was sung by Ivy Tech Indy’s own Dr. Lorie A. Davis, Behavioral Sciences Program Chair, and Christopher Wilburn, director of Community Engagement. The programming then honored Pastor Terry A. Webster Sr., an active participant in Ivy Tech Indy’s B2B. 

“The work that you do is humbling for us. The work that you do changes lives. It gives people hope. And the work you do is tireless,” Wilburn said as he recognized all the work Pastor Webster has done in the community. “We love the fact that you love this College so much, and there's a reason why the word community is in the name Ivy Tech Community College: we're about community. We believe in our mission and our vision. And you exemplify that, and we wanted to give you a note of gratitude, public recognition, and a plaque.” 

Anthony Halmon, the director of Student Life, facilitated the panel discussion centered on the event’s theme of “Living the Dream: It starts with me - spreading hope, courage, and unity.”

Conley, Walton, and Dr. Etienne answered questions about what living the dream means to them, the changing landscape of diversity, equity, and inclusion, higher education, and their biggest recommendations to students today.

Click here to watch the entire panel discussion.

To wrap up the event, Dominique Harris, the assistant director of student life operations, closed the celebration with a moving spoken word performance entitled “The Battle Cry.”

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.