Martin Luther King Jr. Day was important to guest speaker Tamera Nalls for several reasons, she said at the annual East Cleburne Community Center Luncheon on Monday.
Monday celebrated what would have been the civil rights leader’s 84th birthday as well as the second term inauguration of the first African-American president. The day also represented a fresh start to teach local youth about reaching their potential, Nalls said.
“When I read your theme, it was very profound,” she told the crowd. “‘Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.’... Although we have a dream, although we have a vision, when we come together as leaders, none of that matters if we don’t have a plan to come back and touch our next generation.”
Nalls, who is completing the theological program at the Howard Thurman Bible Institute in Dallas, has been a minister for more than 25 years. She is the founder and CEO of Journey of a Young Lady, Inc., a leadership organization that provides innovative leadership opportunities in communities.
Nalls urged adults in attendance to focus on determining and nurturing the natural talents of their children, and help then “spread their wings.”
“As we look at our own children, sometimes we don’t see their gifts, skills and talents,” Nalls said. “My son used to play with sticks. So we bought him this little drum set at age 2. By 5, he was playing drums in the church.
“You elders are in a position to mentor children. Provide opportunities to kids so that when they get to college they are expanding what they already know to be true about themselves. I pray that I’ve impacted you in some sort of way to turn back and pass that baton.”
Alvarado Junior High School student Abbie Hardy said the presentation inspired her to work harder at school as well as start volunteering in her community.