Natalie Warne

Natalie Warne


Wooster to Celebrate MLK Day with Keynote Address, Justice Dialogues, Service Projects, and More

Natalie Warne to deliver speech at opening ceremony

8 January, 2018 by Hugh Howard

WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster will celebrate the impact Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement has had on the United States by inviting students, faculty, and staff as well as the Wooster community to take part in a series of events on MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 15, including several service project opportunities.

The festivities actually kick off on Sunday evening, Jan. 14, with the screening of “The Mask You Live In,” an award-winning documentary that follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating American society’s definition of masculinity, at Freelander Theatre (329 E. University St.). Light refreshments will be served in the lobby prior to the 7 p.m. show.

Monday’s opening ceremony, taking place at McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.), will feature a keynote address by Natalie Warne, a human rights activist, in addition to performances and speeches by Wooster students. Warne began her career as a teenage intern at Invisible Children, where she became an inspiration for young activists by organizing an international human rights awareness campaign that gained notice on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” She went on to a lobbying role in Washington, D.C., and has a widely-viewed TED Talk on engaging youth in social justice.

There are opportunities to engage in both justice dialogues and volunteer for service projects from 10:30 a.m.-noon and 1:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m. The dialogues, moderated by Wooster faculty, staff, and/or students, will consist of meaningful conversation about issues that connect with Dr. King’s work and vision. A highlight will be Wooster president Sarah Bolton joining Matthew Fisher, chief of police of the city of Wooster, Juanita Greene, past president of the Wooster/Orrville chapter of the NAACP, and several other notable panelists for “Social Justice: Past, Present, and Future” at CoRE in Gault/Andrews Library (1140 Beall Ave.) at 10:30 a.m.

For the service projects, Wooster has partnered with the United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties, which has organized 15 different volunteer activities at local nonprofits and organizations, ranging from People to People Ministries to Viola Startzman Free Clinic to Salvation Army of Wooster. On campus, handmade blankets will be made for needy children and hygiene kits will be assembled.

Also of note, there is a prayer breakfast on Monday at Westminster Church House (353 E. Pine St.) at 7:45 a.m., hosted by campus chaplain Alex Serna-Wallender, and an off-campus dinner and celebration, organized by the Wooster/Orrville chapter of the NAACP, at First Presbyterian Church.

The 2018 MLK Day celebration is coordinated by a committee comprised of faculty, staff, students, and Wooster’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. More information, including links to a complete list of topics for the justice dialogues and registration for service projects, can be found here.