Local weekend events call upon King’s legacy

By Hayley Schletker

To commemorate the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr., students, faculty and Lexington community members have coordinated several events leading up to the annual march through downtown Monday morning.

All of the weekend’s events fit into the theme “Somebody’s Calling My Name,” named after a black spiritual.

“One way we interpreted the title is that someone is calling us to step up to our calling, to do our service,” said Chester Grundy, co-chair of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. “Dr. King stepped up to the calling.”

The events begin with a vigil entitled “King’s Dream is Still Alive” at 11 p.m. Sunday, where two groups will march from opposite ends of campus, from the North Campus courtyard and from W.T. Young Library, to convene at Worsham Theater in the Student Center. Along the way, the marchers will pass students acting out silent scenes that depict hate crimes of the past. The march will be followed by midnight presentations by students and faculty and a musical performance at Worsham Theater. Free T-shirts and a free breakfast will be available at the theater.

The annual Unity Breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m. Monday at Heritage Hall in downtown Lexington. The breakfast, sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, costs $15, and tickets are available at the Downtown Arts Center.

After the Unity Breakfast, students are invited to join the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday March. Terry Allen, the coordinator of the march and  associate vice president of employment equity, encourages students to come to Heritage Hall at 10 a.m. to experience the commemoration of King’s work.

“It’s an opportunity to relive a piece of history,” Allen said. “It’s unique to have many people from diverse organizations and individual concerns come together to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King.”

After the march, Freeman Hrabowski will be speaking at Heritage Hall. Grundy said Hrabowski, the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, was chosen because he represents King’s legacy.

“We pick people who we feel are exemplary in the service that King stepped up to,” Grundy said. “We feel Hrabowski is a shining example of this service.”

Allen said he hopes students will find the time to take part in some of these events to learn about King’s work, and the events of the past.

“We must relive the past to prevent repetition,” he said.

The Martin Luther King Cultural Center is also joining in on the national effort 40 Days of Nonviolence, which recognizes the 40-year mark since the assassination of King. Beginning Jan. 20 and running through February, the center will be coordinating service projects. The projects will include volunteering at the Salvation Army, leading forums to cover issues and a plant-a-flower day.