Michael Eric Dyson keynote speaker at MLK Luncheon

By WEEK Producer

January 20, 2014 Updated Jan 20, 2014 at 10:52 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Social commentator Michael Eric Dyson gave a rousing speech at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon at the Peoria Civic Center.

Dyson, a professor at Georgetown University, said people want to honor Dr. King for what he did in his lifetime, rather than thinking how Dr. King's messages of non-violence and inclusion apply to today's problems.

"Instead of dealing with concealed carry, instead of dealing with 'stand your ground', instead of dealing with the persistence of racial economic inequality, instead of dealing with the rights of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual people, instead of dealing with the disparity between what men make and women make,” he said.

Dyson’s address to some 1,300 people was organized by the organization “Public Employees for Community Concern”.