Reverend Joel Aktins
is a Florida native that lived to the age of 75, and a person who had a vast
impact of the civil rights movement occurring in Winter Haven Florida. He was a
public figure that fought for the equality of civil rights for employment in
Polk County. He also desegregated the schools in Polk County. Reverend Aktins
was a pastor at the Zion Baptist church for 41 years and served equal rights
with his life.
I chose to dedicate
this garden in this area because I think a lot of students and athletes don’t
realize how far society has become because of figures like Rev. Atkins.
The Saac has hundreds of people coming through it every day, these people
are mostly athletes that will impact society because of their images.
The spot the garden is located in is to remind us that the ability
for people of all races and ethnicities are at this university because of the
desegregation that took place 40 years ago.
Reverend Joel Atkins
influenced me to be all that I can be and to fight for what you believe is
right. Understanding that the privileges I have were not free is
something I will not ever look over upon again. Reverend Atkins is some
one that we should all appreciate and give our gratitude to. The people that
become doctors, lawyers and etc, should always know that their education was
not paid for with money but with hard work and dedication.