MLK Day speaker challenges students to shed safety Snuggies

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Pastor Santes Beatty ‘97 served as the keynote speaker on Jan. 30 for the “Collective Voices Igniting Change” event series commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

When Africana Community Coordinator Jada Drew introduced Beatty to the audience, she gave a personal testimony about her relationship with the pastor. 

“He inspired light in me and helped me believe I could achieve anything” said Drew.

In his speech, Beatty encouraged students to leave their comfort zone like King did and to make a difference in the world around them.

He began his speech with an anecdote about his in-laws giving him a Snuggie, describing it as “essentially a backwards robe … but it has pockets.”

Although Beatty was originally embarrassed to wear his Snuggie, he warmed up to it. As he later said, “I was content to sit in my Snuggie all day long.”

Beatty used the  anecdote as a metaphor to encourage people to follow the King’s example and apply it to our lives by “releasing yourself from the Snuggie.”

Beatty is a former Guilford student, football player and employee.

During his time as an employee for Guilford, he was appointed as the head of the Bonner Scholars program. In his first year in that position, he was offered position of Africana community coordinator.

“I was in shock,” said Beatty.

He did not know if he could take on the job at only 22 years old. He was encouraged by his peers and decided to leave his comfort zone and take the job.

Today, Beatty is a high school pastor for Kentwood Community Church in Kentwood, Mich.

Through his sermons and mentoring of high school students, Beatty leads by example just as King did.

Attendees of the speech were moved by Beatty’s words.

“I was very inspired by the speech Pastor Beatty proposed,” said first-year Trenor Colby.

“The passion that was infused into its words has made me think twice about what I want my experience to be like at Guilford.”

Beatty closed his speech with a quote from King.

“A life worth living is a life of service.”

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