ROCHESTER, MI – Award-winning actor, producer, director and social activist Louis Gossett Jr. will deliver the keynote address for Oakland University's 19th Annual Keeper of the Dream Scholarship Awards celebration, set for 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 17.
Louis Gossett Jr.
With roots in theater, Gossett Jr. began his film career in 1961 by reprising his stage role in "A Raisin in the Sun." He subsequently appeared in scores of films, including "Iron Eagle" and its sequels, "Jaws 3-D," "The Punisher" and "An Officer and a Gentleman," the latter of which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, a Golden Globe Award and an NAACP Image Award. He also appeared the television miniseries "Roots," which earned him an Emmy award, and more recently on "Stargate SG-1" and "ER."
As an alumnus of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Gossett Jr. has supported and worked with the organization for many years. He also was a national spokesperson for CARE, working throughout the mid-1990s to raise social awareness and help end hunger and poverty among children. Gossett Jr. established the Eracism Foundation, which focuses on eradicating racism and social ignorance while promoting tolerance and cultural awareness with children.
"One mentality cannot run the world anymore," Gossett said. "We need to communicate with each other without resorting to violence to create peace, care for our planet, and encourage the cooperation between races, religions, and communities."
Oakland's Keeper of the Dream Scholarship Awards celebration honors the legacy of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by recognizing students who exemplify his vision of interracial acceptance and understanding.
Established in 1993, the program provides scholarships of up to $5,000 for students who have demonstrated strong citizenship, scholarship and leadership in breaking down cultural stereotypes. More than 50 students have been honored since the program's inception.
The 19th Annual Keeper of the Dream Scholarship Awards celebration will take place in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms on the campus of Oakland University.
Keeper of the Dream kicks off Oakland University's annual African-American Celebration Month festivities, which will continue through Feb. 17 this year. Activities reflect OU's ongoing commitment to celebrate the historical and cultural contributions of African Americans.