January 09, 2013

Events will highlight, celebrate King’s life, legacy

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will celebrate and pay homage to the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a special week of activities and events.

The theme of the week, Jan. 20 to Jan. 26, is “Then My Living Will Not Be In Vain.” 

One of the highlights of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Week 2013 is the 31st annual MLK Commemorative Breakfast set for 7 a.m. Jan. 21, at Grinnell Hall.  Keith Wilson, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, will be the keynote speaker for the program that begins at 9 a.m.  The Carbondale branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sponsors the annual event -- a tradition that draws a diverse group of people.  Tickets are $5 apiece.  Call 618/527-2863 for details.

The annual “Freedom For All” March and rally follows the breakfast.  Students, faculty, staff and community members will leave Grinnell Hall at about 11 a.m. and walk to the Gaia House Interfaith Center, 913 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale.  There, a rally will focus on the legacies left by King and others, including Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Cesar Chavez. 

Rasheed Cromwell, an attorney and founder and CEO of The Harbor Institute, a Washington D.C. company that helps fosters minority student excellence, will be the keynote speaker for the MLK Remembrance set for 7 p.m. Jan. 24, at the Student Health Center Auditorium.  He will present “A Pledge for Leadership:  Steppin’ on the Yard or Marching on Washington?  The Essence of Dr. King.”  The discussion will highlight King’s historical presence and involvement with the nation’s first black fraternity.

Other activities planned during the commemoration week include a unity celebration, an “edutainment” session about keeping a “real” academic culture, a roundtable discussion about urban violence, and a basketball tournament.  The complete schedule and details are available online at www.inclusiveexcellence.siu.edu.

Sponsors of the MLK Remembrance Week include the Center for Inclusive Excellence, Black Resource Center, Black Togetherness Organization, University Housing, Black Staff and Faculty Council, Black Male Roundtable, Black Women’s Task Force, Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Phi Rho Eta, Iota Phi Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Phi Beta Sigma, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Phi Mu, Speaking and Teaching registered student organization, Recreational Sports and Services, Progressive Masculinities Mentors, Carbondale branch of the NAACP and WSIU.

For more information, contact Derrick Williams at 618/453-3916 or by email at dlw10@siu.edu or stop by the Center for Inclusive Excellence in Woody Hall, room C-318.