AT&T’s Marshall Encourages Crowd to ReThink Possible at Annual MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

AT&T’s Marshall Encourages Crowd to ReThink Possible at Annual MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

“Make the impossible possible.” 
– Cynthia Marshall, President, AT&T North Carolina

MLK Breakfast
Attendees at the annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast blow their horns to signal their pledge to” make the impossible possible.”
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On Monday, January 16, 2012, a capacity crowd filled the Imperial Ballroom at the Sheraton in Research Triangle Park for the 32nd Annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast.   Elected officials and leaders from all faiths joined together to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. 

Capitol Broadcasting Company was honored to once again serve as sponsor, a privilege the company has had for over 25 years.

CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon gave welcoming remarks near the open of the breakfast, announcing that for the first time his dream of having the event televised on WRAL-TV had come true.  The second hour of the breakfast, from 8:00-9:00am, appeared live on the Big 5.

“A lot of people can’t get here at 7am,” said Goodmon.  So he made sure that over 15,000 people could see the event from home.  “We have a whole lot to be thankful for.  One thing I’m thankful for is that there are people like Martin Luther King.”

The breakfast included music form the Good Samaritan Baptist Church Men’s Chorus from Garner and greetings from the Mayors of Garner, Raleigh and Durham.  NC Governor Bev Perdue and N.C. Senator Kay Hagan also offered remarks.

“King’s gift through speech inspired our nation to look at ourselves in a new way,” said Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane.

“Education is a moral and a legal issue, educating ourselves to what the vision of what Martin Luther King was.”
– N.C. Governor Bev Perdue

“You won’t learn how to swim until you get in the water,” said Wake County Public School Superintendent Tony Tata.  “We need high expectations of our students and first a belief in every child’s potential.  We are slowly closing the achievement gap, but slowly is not enough.”

Jim Goodmon
CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon tells the crowd CBC is proud to be a long-time sponsor of the breakfast.
Cynthia Marshall
AT&T North Carolina President Cynthia Marshall tells the crowd that for the day RTP stands for ReThink Possible.

Tata attended this the first breakfast in his tenure as school superintendent.

Two special recognitions took place from the podium.  NC Bankers Association President Thad Woodard gave special honor for a Triangle Icon to Raymond Henderson, who got his start on WRAL-AM radio under the tutelage of Triangle legend J.D. Lewis. 

Then Bruce Lightner, Chairman of the MLK Committee, honored the N.C. Baptist Men for their hard work to help citizens of Raleigh recover from the devastating April 17th tornadoes that ripped through the area. 

“They didn’t need to call a meeting.  They didn’t need to call a press conference.  They just came to help,” said Lightner.

In what has become an annual highlight of the event, Adrian Bullock, now a 10th grade student at Enloe High School, recited King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  His stirring rendition earned a standing ovation.

“It’s important we all create our own dreams and sing our own songs.”
– Rozlyn Sorrell

Accomplished songstress Rozlyn Sorrell delivered an inspiring musical number before keynote speaker Cynthia Marshall took the dais. 

Marshall, the President of AT&T North Carolina, energetically told the story of many of her own struggles.  Born in the projects of California she determinedly made her way through school with the encouragement of her mother.  She suffered many hardships and life challenges but challenged the crowd to think of RTP, not as the Research Triangle Park of the day, but for ReThink Possible.

“I am living Dr. King’s dream,” said Marshall.  “I’m here today to give you a mission:  Make the impossible possible.”

MLK Breakfast
Even the youngest members of the crowd get into the spirit of making a joyful noise to further Dr. King’s dream.

She read a poem she’d written as a second grader after the assassination of Dr. King and reflected on her own sadness at his death.  But she said she knew education was her ticket out of the projects and went on to a full scholarship at UC-Berkley.

“He endured many Mission Impossible moments,” said Marshall of Dr. King.  “My mother taught me it’s not where you live, it’s how you live.”

She left the crowd with the story of Gideon from the Bible, and then had everyone blow horns she’d placed on the table and light lights she’d provided, a symbol of how Gideon and a small army defeated a huge horde with horns and lanterns. 

Marshall left the crowd with the charge to “Make the Impossible Possible,” a fitting reminder of the legacy and dream of Dr. King.



Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

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