College of Wooster to Honor Legendary Civil Rights Leader with Celebration Fit for a King

Presentations, workshops, and service projects highlight local collaboration

15 January, 2016 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio, — The College of Wooster will honor the life and legacy of legendary Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., with a series of presentations, workshops, and service projects on Monday (Jan. 18).

The tribute begins Sunday evening (Jan. 17) with a screening of the recent film, Selma, which chronicles King’s efforts to secure equal voting rights with a historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. The free public presentation will be held in the Pit of Lowry Center (1189 Beall Ave.) beginning at 7 p.m.

Monday’s festivities commence with a multi-faith prayer breakfast sponsored by the Office of Interfaith Ministries at 7:30 a.m. in Kittredge Hall (535 E. Wayne Ave.). Students from the Department of Religious Studies “Just Work” class will summarize their experiences in a presentation titled “Lessons for a Working Life.”

Opening ceremonies will follow at 9 a.m. in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.), followed by a series of justice dialogues and service projects between 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon at various locations across campus. A staff luncheon for those who participate in the service projects will be held from 11:45-12:15 in the Scot Center (1267 Beall Ave.). After that, “speed volunteer-service opportunities,” including a homemade blanket assembly project for Project Linus, which provides blankets to children in need, will be held from 12:15-1:30 p.m. At the same time, a racial campus climate luncheon, sponsored the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, will be held in the Tartan Room of Lowry Center. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to engage in discussions designed to enhance racial harmony on campus.

A second round of justice dialogues and service projects resumes after lunch (1:45-3:15 p.m.). There will also be a peace-bracelet making activity for children from 2:15-3 p.m. in the Lowry Pit, followed by the closing ceremony from 3:30-4 p.m. in the same location.

That evening, there will be a community dinner at First Presbyterian Church (631 College Ave.) at 5 p.m. Tickets are $7 and must be purchased in advance. Additional information is available by calling 330-264-9420. The day’s activities conclude with a community celebration featuring an address by Ewuare Osayande, educator, minister, writer and activist Anti-Oppression Coordinator with the Mennonite Central Committee U.S. and founder of Freedom Plow Ministries, at First Presbyterian Church.

The final event will take place the following day with a community workshop, titled “Black Lives Matter and the Gospel Truth” from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at First Presbyterian Church. The event will focus on the Black Lives Matter movement and its call for police reform in the wake of police killings of African Americans across the country through the hermeneutic lens of Jesus' identification with the least of these. 

Registration is required for all meals, and for participation in the service projects Additional information about the celebration is available by phone (330-263-2067), e-mail, or online.