To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s long-lasting words of respect, honor and service to one another, the Center for Multicultural Education is hosting a weekend of events from a community service day to a formal banquet and even a gospel jubilee.
“We want to re-educate students on all the parameters on what Dr. King stood for and what social justice work he did during his life,” Keisha Caldwell, CME program assistant, said.
On Friday, Jan. 20, the CME will host a Candlelight Vigil at 5:30 at the Griffon Plaza, which is located right outside of the Blum Union. The CME will then host a day of service on Saturday, Jan. 21, which begins at 10 a.m. For the day of service, the CME plans to meet first in Blum lobby, and then break off into groups to serve and provide assistance to community centers such as St. Joe Haven, Habitat for Humanity, the Open Door Food Kitchen and the YWCA. The service day will continue until 2 p.m.
On Sunday, the CME is partnering with local church “Word of Faith” to host a Gospel Celebration, held in Kemper Hall, beginning at 3 p.m. The last event will be the Martin Luther King awards banquet and cultural exhibition, which will be in the Fulkerson Center, beginning at 6 p.m. Though the banquet and the service day are annual events, the CME decided to hold the events over the weekend, instead of during the week, in hope to achieve more student participation.
“The banquet and service day we have done for years,” Caldwell said. “But, we decided to have our events postponed, until students came back because we had low attendance in previous years of having events on Martin Luther King Day.”
CME Intern Leah Hayes feels that all students should take this opportunity to celebrate Martin Luther King, rather then just take the day off.
“As far as a college standpoint, we are all here for a reason,” Hayes said. “We are in college to educate ourselves. We all should learn what Martin Luther King was all about. Let’s not be ignorant and think Martin Luther King day is a day off. Martin Luther King stood for social justice. It’s a day on, not a day off.”
During the banquet, the CME will be giving out a “Drum Majors for Justice” award to certain nominees that demonstrate excellent service and social justice to the St. Joseph community. The CME is also remembering Martin Luther King by co-hosting the candlelight event with the fraternity that he was a member of, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Alpha Phi Alpha member Mark Bush feels that co-sponsoring the event is a great way to remind the Alphas of what being apart of a fraternity is all about.
“Brother King was not afraid of change but rather an agent of change,” Bush said. “He is the ideal Alpha man, which is why we honor him in remembrance of what he did because if we forget where we came from, we will never make it to where we are going.”
All events are free for Missouri Western students. The Gospel Celebration is free for everybody. The banquet, however, is $10 for non-students.