Marlon spent most of Friday (MArch 16) in Monroe spreading his message of how people can make a difference by making full use of their talents. He visited with community members, business leaders, high school students and pediatric patients during a visit. Marlon landed in Monroe on Friday morning and made his first stop at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where he gave a lecture on how talent can be used to improve the world.
"All of us are blessed with a gift," Jackson told the energetic crowd at ULM's Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall. "It's up to us to find what that talent is and exercise it to its fullest."
Marlon said the musical talents that he and his brothers share have enabled them to travel the world and make a difference in the lives of countless individuals across the globe.
"When we were little kids, we used to look out our bedroom window and wonder what were we going to be when we grew up," he said. "Not once did we say 'travel the world and entertain people and unite people as one through our music,' but that's what we did. That's exactly what we did."
Marlon said anyone can become successful if they work hard, and once they do, they should remember to give back and help promote peace in the world.
"To give money if you have it is one thing, but to give your time is a different story," he said.
During a question and answer session, Marlon revealed that his brothers have been talking about possibly going back on tour, which sent the entire recital hall into excited applause.
When asked if he liked crawfish, he laughed and said, "Of course," noting that his wife is from New Orleans.
T.J. Stevenson, pastor at St. James United Methodist Church on Adams Street, took the opportunity to present Marlon with some images Michael Jackson had drawn and signed for her while she was a flight attendant on one of his flights.
Stevenson, wearing a Michael Jackson T-shirt and sporting a phone with all Michael Jackson ringtones, said she wanted him to have the pictures so he could take them back to his family.
Following his visit to ULM, Marlon spent time at Carroll High School talking to students about respect, character and the importance of staying focused and grounded in order to become successful.
Mayor Jamie Mayo said Marlon was well-received by the students.
"He emphasized to them how they are all children of God and have been given gifts — both physical and mental — to succeed, and they need to take advantage of that," he said.
Marlon also made a trip to the pediatric unit at St. Francis Medical Center, greeting kids and taking pictures with families, before stopping by CenturyLink.
Marlon will be in Monroe until Sunday and will spend time meeting with other local businesses. He also will be Mayo's guest at a private campaign fundraiser Saturday night.
"It's just an honor to have a member of the famed Jackson family here in Monroe for a couple of days to talk to our youth as well as visit some of our businesses," Mayo said, adding that he hopes to discuss possible business opportunities that Jackson can help bring to Monroe "The most important thing for us is to introduce him to Monroe, Louisiana, give him our historic background and let him know what our strengths are and what we're trying to build on and see what can come out of it."
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