Condoleezza Rice speaks at local MLK Day celebration

By WEEK Reporter

January 21, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 12:54 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Public Employees for Community Concerns hosted its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Luncheon Monday afternoon with featured keynote speaker, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Rice spoke on Dr. King's views of our rights and freedoms as Americans and specifically pointed out what she says is the 'greatest national security crisis': the K through 12 education system.

Rice says an uneducated America is a danger to the perfect institutions our founding fathers put in place.

While K through 12 sets up the foundation for education, Rice expressed the absolute importance of a college education in our society.

"They may not be able to understand it now but I think that she planted a seed in them. Hopefully, they'll take note and use it in their future," said Demetris Westerfield of Peoria.

"You can't make it without a college education. You can't get the job and you end up not being the full person you would be," Jim Billups, Sterling Middle School Educator.

Rice did say she was optimistic about the United States' future.

She says our perfect institutions will be successful, as long as we do not become wrapped up in our own human imperfections.