The Culture and Heritage Houses at WSU have joined forces with other departments on campus to offer a diverse group of programs to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.
Marc Robinson, director of the Culture and Heritage Houses, said he hopes to reach a larger population of community members by partnering up with other departments. By making the connections with groups such as the Center for Civic Engagement, the Common Reading program and community performance groups, he wants to share these events with more and more people.
“[Martin Luther King, Jr. Day] is really about reflecting on where we are in the nation, where we've been in the past, and where we still need to go,” Robinson said.
'The Right to Dream'
The events kick off with a theater production by Living Voices. The group will present "The Right to Dream" at 7:30 tonight in Jones Theatre. Tickets for the event are free for WSU students, $10 for adults and $5 for non-WSU students and youth.
Students can use their day off for good by participating in the Center for Civic Engagement’s Day of Service. Students can care for orphaned horses, sort food for community members and bowl with senior citizens. Students can sign up to help through CougSync.
An Immortal Common Reading event
The Culture and Heritage Houses partnered with the WSU Common Reading Program to present a lecture with the Lacks family, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Beasley Coliseum. This year’s Common Reading book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,"highlights the story of Henrietta Lacks, a black woman whose cells were stolen then grown in a lab for scientific purposes.
Remembering the man
WSU’s celebrations will culminate in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration, starting at 4 p.m. in the CUB Senior Ballroom. The program will feature performances by the WSU School of Music faculty jazz ensemble Jazz Northwest, the University Singers and God’s Harmony Gospel Choir.
The program received funding from SEB Arts.
“That's the first time that we've ever gotten that kind of funding,” Robinson said.
Robinson said he is hoping to create a stronger connection to the classroom by having David Leonard as the keynote speaker. Leonard is an associate professor and chair of WSU’s Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies Department.
Congregating in remembrance
The last event to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. will take place Sunday at the Congregational United Church of Christ, where a worship service will honor the man and what he stood for. A potluck dinner will be served as well. Robinson said that for the service, the Emmanuel Christian Life Center is partnering up with the Culture and Heritage Houses.
For more information about the events scheduled for Martin Luther King, Jr., visit mlk.wsu.edu/events.