MLK Day speaker Pryor: ‘Assumptions hold us back’
The 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday observance was held Monday morning in Fayetteville. The festivities began with the annual parade and were followed by celebration activities at the Lafayette Education Center that featured keynote speaker Julius Pryor, III.
The theme for the this year’s celebration was “Advancing the call for civility and civil rights.”
A graduate of Morehouse College, Pryor is the general managing partner of the J. Pryor Group LLC, and a partner at OneSourceHRM. Pryor conducts workshops and seminars for a variety of audiences, including business schools and corporations, government agencies and leadership academies. His presentation topics include conceptual innovation, hyper-collaboration, being relevant in the 21st century and becoming more comfortable being uncomfortable. Those concepts are presented in his new book, “Thriving in a Disruptive World: 6 Critical Concepts for Navigating the 21st Century.”
Pryor in his remarks referenced a number of the concepts contained in the book. Noting what he called quantum thinking, Pryor said an individual’s awareness can be personal, situational or conceptual. Yet an increase in awareness does not come without change, Pryor said, especially in a world that can be disruptive of the process that brings it about.
“Change is multi-dimensional and can cut across generational lines,” Pryor said, again noting the positive effects that come from transitioning beyond the disruptive worldview that only tends to limit interaction and potential. “In a time of disruption there are huge opportunities.”
Many of the assumptions we make hold us back, Pryor said, explaining that assumptions on a given topic, especially ones where a subjective judgment is included, do not provide for the increase in awareness needed in all our lives.
The Jan. 21 annual celebration also included music by the Olivet Children and Youth Choir, comments from Fayette County School System interim Superintendent Dan Colwell, Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown and Fayette Branch President John Jones, a spoken word presentation by members of the AVPRIDE “Leaders in Training” program and a variety of awards to Fayette County school students in the areas of essay writing, attendance, academic excellence and athletics.