Actor and author Hill Harper speaks on goals at KSU's MLK Day event

KENNESAW - Actor and activist Hill Harper helped celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Kennesaw…

Georgia (Jan 19, 2010) — KENNESAW - Actor and activist Hill Harper helped celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Kennesaw State University on Monday by speaking to an audience of students, faculty and community members about setting goals and committing to be the architect of their own destiny.


Link To Article

"I believe that Dr. King was probably one of the first individuals that really spoke about affirmations can create a new reality," Harper said. "Because if you think about most of the stuff that he said, it was all about a new positive reality. If we take some of his quotes like, 'Faith is taking the first step even when we don't see the entire staircase.' … Or 'How long, not long' or 'I have a dream.' All of these things are talking about calling forth a new and different future or reality."

Within the first few minutes of his 50 minute-long speech, Harper asked the audience of the Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center on KSU's campus to raise their hands if they had goals. When the entire audience raised their hands, Harper began to map out his step-by-step plan for the audience to achieve their individual goals and overcome their fears.

Using the audience, his own life stories, and referencing two of his books, "Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny" and "Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny," Harper called on the audience to commit to being active architects of their own lives.

He urged everyone in the audience to create a blueprint of their life goals and to map out a plan to achieve these goals. Harper likened this process to an architect's plans for constructing a great building.

Several times in his speech, Harper, an alum of Harvard Law School, made reference to his friend and former classmate President Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama as role models for creating a new life reality.

Following Harper's speech, the African-American Student Alliance, the student organization that helped sponsored the event, conducted a student march from the auditorium around campus to the Carmichael Student Center where Harper had a book signing.

Along with his first two books, Harper recently released a third book, "The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships." All of Harpers books are meant to serve as motivational guides for African-American teens and young adults.

The African-American Student Alliance (ASA) along with KSU's Black History Celebration Committee and the Multicultural Student Retention Services (MSRS) helped to coordinate and sponsor the event.

Nicole Phillips, associate director for Student Development and assistant director for MSRS, said that Monday's celebration brought out a record-breaking crowd for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. event. She attributes this to Harper's popularity and his ability to inspire.

Vice-President of ASA Chris Jacobs said his organization decided on Harper as their keynote speaker because of the effects his books have had on young people.

"Martin Luther King Jr., he was all about helping and serving people. And Hill Harper, he's all about helping and serving people. Even though he's a big celebrity he always takes time to give back and contribute back to the community, and that's what MLK was all about," Jacobs said.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit