MLK Center commemorates march on Washington

By Will Wright | Assistant News Editor

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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Washington, D.C., Wednesday with a panel discussion and movie.

The movie is about Bayard Rustin, who helped organize the march and faced discrimination for his race and sexual preference.

At 2:15 p.m. in the MLK Center, faculty panelists will discuss the march on Washington, the current state of America’s efforts to realize King’s dream and how UK will advance that dream.

“I think it’s important to recognize the different kinds of diversity among us,” said Kahlil Baker, the interim director of the MLK Center.

King wanted to create a more diverse and inclusive world, said Rosalyn Robinson, the assistant director of the MLK Center.

“I want our office to fulfill the purpose of the march on Washington,” she said.

The MLK Center wants to achieve a diverse and inclusive campus, and help retention rates of students who are generally underrepresented on campus, Robinson said.

She said it is important that the entire university strives to achieve equality and diversity, and much of UK is working toward that goal.

“I don’t think it should be just our mission because Martin Luther King’s name is on the door, but the mission of every office and the entire University of Kentucky,” Robinson said. “I believe there are a lot of offices that strive to (do) that.”

Christopher Bollinger, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, will be one of the panelists Wednesday. He thinks education will help achieve King’s vision and mission.

“I’d like to think that our students will play a role in continuing Dr. King’s mission … in their daily lives, ensuring they treat others with respect, an open mind and in providing others with equal opportunities wherever they are,” Bollinger said.

He said people need to understand the problem of equal opportunity is complicated.

“People like to find a single cause for things and it’s often not like that,” Bollinger said. “I don’t think we know what the real problem is.”

UK reflects King’s vision through community outreach, promoting diversity and hosting talks, but there is still progress to be made, Baker said.

“We have not arrived at this place that Dr. King envisioned. There is still work to do, and recognizing that is one of, if not the most, important things,” Baker said. “It has to be an ongoing dialogue.”