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Martin Luther King Center hosts Coretta Scott King Women’s Celebration Dinner in honor of Women’s History Month

Isabella Sepahban
Guests attending the Coretta Scott King event participate in a lantern-lighting ceremony following the event’s closing speech in the Gatton Student Center at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky on March 26, 2024. Photo by Isabella Sepahban | Staff

The Coretta Scott King Women’s Celebration Dinner was held in the University of Kentucky’s Gatton Student Center to pay homage to the legacy of the late Coretta Scott King and honor Women’s History Month.

The event, hosted by the Martin Luther King Center on Tuesday, March 26 offered dinner, a discussion about Coretta Scott King’s legacy and some activities regarding Women’s History Month.

“Our goal is really (about) just bringing women from all backgrounds — faculty, staff and students — together,” Jasmine Prince, associate director of the Martin Luther King Center, event planner and host for Tuesday’s event, said.

Prince said the event has been hosted annually for the past three years and focuses on honoring the legacy of Coretta Scott King.

King, an author, activist and civil rights leader, dedicated the majority of her life to fighting for human rights.

However, Prince and others argued she is often seen as just the wife of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

“Oftentimes, I think that as a society, we see her as just, ‘Oh she was just a supportive wife,’” Prince said. “But she had her own things she advocated for, and she was a very integral piece in the civil rights movement as well.”

After giving an introduction to the event, Prince had guests participate in activities.

This included a networking segment, a Q&A, a discussion relating to women role models and a final personal reflection activity.

A number of UK students and staff members attended the event Tuesday evening, including Consolee Deo, a sophomore at UK majoring in psychology.

Deo highlighted the importance of women having a “backbone” in society.

“It’s (about) not letting those negative internal thoughts hold you down or back,” Deo said.

Deo also explained her reasoning for staying motivated and pushing through judgment.

“This is not going to hold me back — it’s going to motivate me to be better and beat the odds,” Deo said. “The most I can do is rise above.”

Many UK students helped organize the event, including Journey Hightower, a junior at UK majoring in psychology.

“Women, we’re like the face of the world,” Hightower said.

Hightower also helped set up and advertise for the event. This was her second time helping to host the Coretta Scott King dinner.

“For Women’s History Month, I feel like it’s a time to reflect on those that have played a role in shaping the world,” Hightower said. “Without (them), we would not be here.”

To close the event, guests participated in a lantern lighting ceremony. They lit small lanterns and were instructed to think about where they see themselves in the future.

“Tonight … let us reflect on the power of light, as it serves as a metaphor for leadership, resilience and transformation,” Prince said.

Prince ended the event hopeful for a brighter future for women across the world.

“Just as a single lamp can pierce through the darkness, so too can (the) collective strength and determination of women ignite change and illuminate the way towards a bright future,” Prince said.

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