On Wednesday, February 27, the Gonzaga community came together in St. Aloysius Church for its annual Black History Month assembly. Hosted by ONYX, Gonzaga’s black and multi-cultural student association, the event featured student poems and musical performances by the St. Martin's Gospel Choir, as well as a keynote address by Mr. Christopher Hart, an accomplished engineer, lawyer, and pilot.
The St. Martin’s Gospel Choir performed several numbers throughout the assembly including “We Shall Overcome,” a protest song that was a key anthem of the Civil Rights Movement. As James Washington ’19, President of ONYX, said in his introduction, “Gospel music has often been seen as a path to overcome oppression of all kinds.”
In between gospel songs, Hunter Stewart ’19 and Aaron Davis ’19 shared original poems entitled "My Negro Spiritual: A response to Langston Hughes poem 'The Negro Speaks of Rivers',
" and "The Mind of Frederick Douglass,"
respectively, while Mr. Christopher Hart, Chairman and Board Member at the National Transportation Safety Board and Deputy Director for Air Traffic Safety Oversight at the Federal Aviation Administration, offered the keynote address. Mr. Hart spoke about using your passions to improve the lives of others. For Hart, his interest in engineering and law led him to pursue a career where he works to prevent transit crashes and ensure the safety of different modes of transportation.
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While thanking Mr. Hart for coming to Gonzaga, Father Planning said that his speech reminded him of a Pedro Arrupe quote that’s displayed in the Arrupe Commons: “What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.”
Father Planning went on to tell the students that if they follow their heart and love what they do—as Mr. Hart did—they will ultimately pursue a life and career that serves others.
Thank you to Gonzaga’s ONYX club for a wonderful celebration! Click here
to see more photos from the day. Enjoy video highlights from the assembly below: