EUGENE, Ore. — “Selfless service is the key to a life well lived.”
Those were some of the words from actor Giancarlo Esposito Monday night at Lane Community College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.
Esposito says it’s important to be you, a message the actor says is key in living the life you want to live.
He says there’s no dream greater than your own, that’s what makes us unique.
“You can always take it back. And you can always be truthful and honest about who you are,” said Esposito.
The former “Breaking Bad” star spoke to a packed house Monday night at LCC, he said knowing who you means chasing your dream — not being swayed by what may be happening around you.
“Those eyes were on me because of the color of my skin, and trying to figure out who I was and so I ask, who are you? Who am I? And why are we here,” said Esposito.
And it took some time to learn who he was in his own life.
“I grew up in a turbulent time in America. I came to America in early 1962 from Europe. And America was a very different place for me to see with my own eyes,” said Esposito.
Esposito is half Italian, half black and says growing up there were a lot of eyes on him because of the color of his skin.
But he says Martin Luther King Jr. stood up for what is right.
“He thought that people were equal and should be treated as such and he put his life out on the line to support that,” said Esposito.
“We thought that this would be a perfect fit given his activism in the community,” said LCC professor and city of Eugene councilor Greg Evans.
Evans played a major role in recruiting Esposito to LCC.
He says a lot of students know Esposito from TV shows and knew he’d have a good message to share, one that’s already having an impact on students.
“When he starts talking about the future generation and how they are the ones that are going to be the catalysts for the change that they need,” said Paul Zito, president of student government at LCC.
Esposito says a major factor in deciding to speak at LCC was their focus on cultural competency and diversity on campus.