Wooster to Honor MLK Day with Events Centered on Service, Justice, and Equity

Series of events to be held on and off campus Jan. 15-16

11 January, 2017 by Sarah Stanley

WOOSTER, Ohio — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” The College of Wooster encourages students, faculty, staff, and the community to respond by participating in the MLK Day of Service with events centered on service, justice, and equity again this year.

Several of the events are open to the public, beginning Sunday, Jan. 15, with the screening of the film Freedom Riders at 7 p.m. in the main lounge of Lowry Center (1189 Beall Ave.). Freedom Riders is the story of the Civil Rights Movement interstate busing protest campaign. Cookies and cocoa will be served.

Monday, Jan. 16, will begin with an interfaith prayer breakfast at 7:45 a.m. in Kittredge Dining Hall (535 E. Wayne Ave.) and the opening ceremony will follow at 9 a.m. in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.) featuring keynote speaker Carol Moseley Braun. The first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate and a former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, Moseley Braun is a renowned civil rights and women’s rights activist. Her speech will be live streamed.

A series of justice dialogues will run from 10:30 a.m.-noon and 1:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m. at various locations across campus. The dialogues are an opportunity for the campus community to engage in meaningful exploration and dialogue about issues that connect with Dr. King’s work and vision on matters relating to civil rights and social justice, activism, responsibility, and engagement. There will be 18 different topics ranging from “Diversity in STEM Careers” to “Identity, Intersectionality, and Allyship: How to be an ally for those you want to stand for!” Sessions will be moderated and lead by Wooster faculty, staff, and students as well as community leaders.

Service projects will also run from 10:30 a.m.-noon and 1:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m. at various locations in the Wooster area. The United Way has organized 35 shifts of volunteer activities at 18 local nonprofits and organizations, including the YMCA, Friendtique, Habitat for Humanity, Wooster Community Hospital, People to People Ministries, and the Salvation Army. On-campus service projects include creating handmade blankets for children in conjunction with Project Linus and assembling hygiene kits for use by United Way partner agencies.

Off campus, a community dinner will take place at First Presbyterian Church (621 College Ave.) at 5 p.m. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased by calling (330) 263-9420. Following the dinner, Wooster alumnus Edward Gilbert, an attorney whose practice focuses on civil rights litigation and constitutional law violations, will speak at 7 p.m. Also, Shades of Gold, a co-ed a cappella ensemble of Wooster students, will perform. The speaker and performance are both free of charge. The dinner and speaker are hosted by the Wooster/Orrville NAACP.

The 2017 MLK Celebration is coordinated by a committee comprised of faculty, staff, students, and Wooster’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. More information, including a complete list of topics for the justice dialogues and registration for service projects, can be found on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter @MLKDayWooster, or by downloading the app Guidebook. You can also email the committee or call (330) 263-2434.