College of Wooster and Wooster High School to Pay Homage to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Performances, presentations, exhibitions, and workshops highlight local collaboration

05 January, 2015 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio, — The College of Wooster, in collaboration with the Wooster City Schools, will pay tribute to the life and legacy of Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., through a series of performances, presentations, and workshops in mid-January, titled "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

The festivities begin with a Wall of Justice display by local elementary, middle school, and high school students from Wooster City Schools on the art wall in Lowry Center (Jan. 12-19) and a food drive, titled "Fill the Bus." Proceeds will go to the Salvation Army food pantry and kitchen. There will also be a screening of "The Farm: Angola, USA," by Emmy-award-winning filmmaker Jonathan Stack, who will be on campus to discuss the film.

On Monday, Jan. 19, a full slate of activities is planned, beginning with an interfaith prayer breakfast, featuring guest speaker Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners' senior director of mobilizing and author of two books on immigration reform, poverty, and social justice, at 7:30 a.m. in Kittredge Dining Hall (535 E. Wayne Ave.). Opening ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. in McGaw Chapel with remarks by College of Wooster President Grant Cornwell and Wooster City Schools Superintendent Michael Tefs. There will also be art performances honoring Dr. King and an announcement of the winners of the Wooster City Schools MLK essay contest, sponsored by the Wooster/Orville NAACP Unit 3208.

Between 10:30 a.m.-noon, and again from 1:45-3:15 p.m., a series of justice dialogues will be presented at various venues across campus. Presentations will be made under the general themes of "The Beloved/Just Community," "Conflict Resolution/Activism," "Educating for Peace and Justice," and "Justice and the Liberal Arts." Specific dialogue sessions will focus on such topics as "Faith-in-Action Training," "Being Multi-Racial in Wooster," "Latino/a Justice Issues," "Working to Live," "Bringing Social Justice to the Classroom," and "Ferguson, Missouri," (which features an interactive app project that allows participants to hear the real voices of Ferguson citizens). Dialogue leaders include College of Wooster and Wooster City Schools faculty, as well as College staff and students.

Concurrently with the justice dialogues will be service projects in which hygiene and baby kits will be prepared by Wooster High School and College of Wooster students under the direction of Ashley Reid, head women's basketball coach at the College. The closing ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m. in Lowry Center, during which the students who participated in the art-wall project will be recognized.

Other events that week include a series of I-Seminars with students presenting Senior Independent Study projects that relate to the topic of race and justice, and a Wooster faculty panel on the topic of Palestinian-Israeli justice.

Watch a live stream of the opening ceremony, from 9 to 10:15 a.m. on Jan. 19. Additional information about the event is available by phone (330-263-2434), e-mail, or online.