MIAMI GARDENS — Noted MSNBC radio and television personality Ed Schultz visited the campus of the Florida Memorial University Tuesday to encourage students to exercise their right to vote.
The broadcast veteran addressed a standing-room-only crowd of students, faculty and community members in the FIU/FMU auditorium, where he implored the audience to “do their part” to ensure that “our nation moves forward.”
“Some of you had ancestors who were owned, whipped and told what to do,” Schultz said.
“They could not speak up or vote … You are obligated to perform your duty. If you don’t register to vote, you are hurting the souls of those who came before you.”
Henry Lewis III, FMU president, agreed.
“Too many people died so that you can have the right to vote. You must exercise that right.”
The FMU College Democrats and student NAACP chapters conducted a voter-registration drive outside of the auditorium for students on what was the last
day to do so. Stevmontay Broughton, an NAACP volunteer, said he was thrilled to hear Schultz’s presentation.
“The turnout was great and Ed was a great speaker. I felt intrigued and hungry for the important information that he gave us,” said Broughton, an FMU psychology student. “I’d love to see him come back to our campus.”
During the forum, Schultz explored issues including healthcare, voter suppression, racism, economic fairness and the current election. He got personal about his early
experiences with integration.
“In 1969, I was not allowed to attend my local high school. I was forced to go to an integrated school,” Schultz recalled. “I have to admit that, at first, it was tough. I came from a mostly white middle-class community and now I was in a low-income black community. It was different.”
Schultz said playing quarterback on a team of mostly black players helped him understand that “America is a place where everyone is welcome.” He said that, “Through my experiences, I learned to I don’t have to be afraid to reach out to other people.”
Viera Galloway, student government vice president, said she left feeling “empowered and informed.”
“His views were very interesting and I like the way he dissected the information for the students,” Galloway offered.
Schultz ended his talk by encouraging the audience to “build a legacy.”
“People always remember who you are and how you do things. We can’t be satisfied with our personal successes … That would be selfish.”
He then charged the crowd to “speak up, pitch in and stay involved.”