In honor of Black History Month, WSOU-FM's "Thank God For Monday" program aired a special hour-long interview with the Rev. Dr. Forrest Pritchett, an esteemed activist and mentor who currently serves as the director of Seton Hall University's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Program.
Pritchett — who received the President's Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barack Obama in 2016 — spoke about his life spent fighting discrimination against African Americans.
From participating in sit-ins as a Delaware State University student during the 1960s to most recently organizing an MLK Day symposium that attracted hundreds of students, educators and activists to Seton Hall, Pritchett recounted the "50-plus years of my life working with many others – inch by inch – to help this country to move forward to a better place. A place that God would have us be."
Pritchett also talked about the evolution of the Martin Luther King Scholarship program at Seton Hall. He noted that since his arrival at Seton Hall in 1978 (the MLK Scholarship program was started in 1970), when one scholarship each year was given, "the program has blossomed to the point that we're in a position to offer scholarships to 15 to 20 students." He also noted that the geographic range of the program has broadened and that in this most recent class, the Class of 2022, students in the program come from eight different states and a number of different countries, including India and countries within Africa and South America.
Rev. Dr. Pritchett also recounted his years as "a juvenile delinquent," growing up in Atlantic City and even for a time being sent to a juvenile reformatory. Through the prayers and advocacy of his community, he was ultimately released after serving very little time. He talked about how that experience shaped him and brought him in later years to cultivate a working relationship with those relegated to the state's reformatories and penitentiaries: "We should keep an open mind and an open heart. All people who may have been involved in the criminal justice system are not perennially bad people."
Hosted by Brother Greg Cellini, the special one-hour interview on "Thank God for Monday" with Rev. Dr. Pritchett can be found here.
Categories: Arts and Culture