Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. attends the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Luncheon at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center on Friday. Gossett delivered a speech that touched on his Eracism Foundation — the elimination of racism through programs fostering cultural diversity and promoting antiviolence initiatives.
Utah human rights group honors actor Gossett
Civil rights » Lt. Gov. Bell says Martin Luther King Jr. was “sent from God.”
First Published Jan 11 2013 03:34 pm • Last Updated Jul 11 2013 01:56 pm

West Valley City • Actor Louis Gossett Jr. became the first non-Utah resident to be honored with the state’s human right’s commission Drum Major Award Friday at a luncheon in West Valley City — a gesture that choked up the Academy Award winner.

"My message to you is … there is no such thing as impossible," Gossett said in a halting voice. "No such thing."

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The 76-year-old star of "An Officer and a Gentleman" — for which he won an Oscar in 1982 — and the science-fiction drama "Enemy Mine" picked up the award at the Martin Luther King Jr. Utah Human Rights Commission’s 13th annual luncheon, which honors the memory of the slain civil-rights leader.

The commission was established in 1999 when then-Gov. Michael Leavitt signed an executive order for its creation and to promote principles of human rights.

Gossett delivered a 10-minute speech that touched on the driving theme of his Eracism Foundation — the elimination of racism through programs fostering cultural diversity and promoting antiviolence initiatives.

He urged the crowd of about 200 at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center to promote peace through education and drew upon his personal experience of being raised by his grandmother in Brooklyn. He said she raised him and 25 cousins to respect everyone every day by taking the time to learn about other cultures.

"When we walked out that door to school, we were prepared to learn," he said.

The luncheon also featured Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, who spoke for about 10 minutes and said he believed Martin Luther King Jr. was "sent from God" and that he exposed the lingering effects of slavery and racism in America.

"It was institutionalized in the laws of the land and institutionalized in the hearts of people," Bell said. "And while we have make remarkable progress in the legal sense … we still know there are hurdles yet to be jumped."

The commission also honored Charlene Lui, director for educational equality at the Granite School District, with the Drum Major Award. The name was culled from King’s speech in 1968 that talks about the desire to lead and be out in front on an important issue.


story continues below
story continues below

The awards were presented to Gossett and Lui by Forrest Crawford, who also was a recipient. Crawford is a Weber State University professor of education.

dmontero@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.