MLK week combines traditional celebration, new faces

University and community members come together to celebrate anniversary

The Office for Diversity and Equity has partnered with student groups and community organizations to present the 2014 Community Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration next week.

Events are scheduled from Jan. 17 through Jan. 31, with a theme of “Looking Back, Moving Forward.”

“[The goal] this year is to reflect on Dr. King’s principles and teaching and their implications in our lives in the 21st century and to look at the 60s and 70s to inspire life today,” said Marcus Martin, chief officer of the diversity office.

The opening ceremony will take place at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church with former University President John T. Casteen III as the guest speaker. This is the 29th annual MLK Charlottesville Community Celebration and the fourth year since the University has co-sponsored the event.

The highlights of this year’s celebration include a keynote address by author and radio host Michael Eric Dyson. An American Book Award recipient and two-time NAACP Image Award winner, Dyson is a sociology professor at Georgetown University and a host for a NPR program “The Michael Eric Dyson Show.”

Dyson’s will speak Jan. 23 in the Culbreth Theatre at 6 p.m. Free student tickets are available at the Arts Box Office.

Rita Dove will also be honored for her contributions as an American author and poet in a celebration at the Paramount Theatre on Jan. 31. Preceded by a reception, the program will start at 6:45 p.m. and will include the world premier of the documentary film “Rita Dove: An American Poet.” The program is free and open to the public.

Dove has served as Poet Laureate for both Virginia and the United States, she received the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and she has been a University English Professor for more than 20 years.

This year will also feature a panel hosted by the University’s library system. The panel will include several current staff members and faculty who have are former University students and can comment on the increasing diversity of the University community, said who have witnessed the advancement in increasing diversity at the University, said Jennifer Harmon, University Library Human Resources Generalist and panel organizer.

Annual events include “Day in the Life of a Healthcare Professional,” a shadowing event for high school students and undergraduates with an emphasis on the impact of diversity on health care practice and research. “FAFSA Completion Night” is a service project that will assist local students and their families with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to apply for financial aid for post-secondary education.

Published January 13, 2014 in FP test, News

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