Renowned civil rights leader, Dr. Harold Middlebrook, recently inspired student leaders in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Project Excellence Youth Leadership Initiative at Austin-East Magnet High School. Middlebrook’s visit emphasized to the students the importance of activism, leadership, community engagement, and leaving a lasting impact.
Middlebrook, a prominent figure in civil rights movement in Tennessee, played a pivotal role in the historic Memphis sanitation workers’ strike in 1968. As a close confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he dedicated his life to advocating for the rights of African Americans and promoting social justice. Pastor Daryl Arnold, the students’ Leadership Studies instructor, recognized the value of Middlebrook’s leadership experiences and invited him to Austin-East Magnet High School to provide an invaluable opportunity for the students to learn from a living legend.
UT’s Project Excellence program at Austin-East Magnet High School empowers students to become community leaders. Middlebrook’s visit aligned perfectly with this mission, as he encouraged the students to utilize their voices and talents for positive change. During his visit, Middlebrook emphasized the importance of activism, leadership, and collaboration. He shared stories of civil rights struggles and resilience, inspiring the students to continue the fight for equality. Middlebrook’s visit served as a reminder that their voices matter, and that they have a vital role in creating a more just society.
His words of wisdom and personal anecdotes resonated deeply, reminding the student leaders of their power to shape the future, and served as a source of inspiration and motivation. The students were reminded of their place in a legacy of activists and leaders, and the importance of activism, leadership, and community engagement in creating a better future.
As the student leaders carry the torch for social change, they do so with the knowledge that they are part of that legacy, just like Dr. Harold Middlebrook. His visit will undoubtedly continue to inspire them as they strive to make a positive impact in their lives and communities.
Through its eight departments and 12 centers, the UT Knoxville College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences enhances the quality of life for all through research, outreach, and practice. Find out more at cehhs.utk.edu