January 21, 2019 -
WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster will celebrate the impact Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement has had on the United States by inviting students, faculty, and staff as well as the Wooster community to take part in a series of events on MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 21, including several service project opportunities.
The festivities actually kick off on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 20, with the screening of “The Mask You Live In,” an award-winning documentary that follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating American society’s definition of masculinity, and discussion at The Alley in Lowry Center (1189 Beall Ave.). Light refreshments will be served prior to the 3 p.m. show.
Monday’s opening ceremony, taking place in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.), will feature a keynote address by Darnell Moore titled “No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black & Free in America,” the same title of his book that was recently published, at 9 a.m., followed by student performances. A prolific writer who is presently the writer-in-residence at the Center on African-American Religion, Sexuality, and Social Justice at Columbia University as well as editor-at-large for “Cassius” and co-managing editor of “The Feminist Wire,” Moore is an activist with passions centering on marginal identity, youth development, and other social justice issues in the U.S. and abroad. Of note, the opening ceremony will be live streamed.
There are opportunities to engage in both justice dialogues and volunteer for service projects from 10:45 a.m.-noon and 1:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m. The dialogues, with the theme of “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” will be moderated by Wooster faculty, staff, and/or students, and will consist of meaningful conversation about issues that connect with Dr. King’s work and vision. Many are open to students in the community as well as the College, including “Storytime for Social Justice,” hosted by the College libraries, which will involve reading books about kids from diverse racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds, trans and non-binary kids, those with different disabilities, and from a range of families (single parents, LQBTQ parents, and multigenerational families), in The Alley of Lowry Center (1189 Beall Ave.) at 10:45 a.m.
The College libraries will also be hosting a traveling exhibit through Feb. 3 on Mary Church, educator, writer, lecturer, suffragist, and civil rights leader, that correlates with another justice dialogue “Activism as a Way of Life: What Mary Church Terrel Teaches Us About Social Justice.” It will take place in the Longbrake Commons in Andrews Library (1140 Beall Ave.) at 10:45 a.m.
For the service projects, Wooster has partnered with the United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties, which has organized 15 different volunteer activities at local nonprofits and organizations, ranging from People to People Ministries to Viola Startzman Free Clinic to Salvation Army of Wooster. On campus, tutus and headbands will be made for a women’s empowerment 5K this spring in Akron and paper flowers assembled for a fundraiser in February.
Also of note, there is a prayer breakfast on Monday at Westminster Church House (353 E. Pine St.) at 7:45 a.m., hosted by campus chaplain Alex Serna-Wallender.
The 2019 MLK Day celebration is coordinated by a committee comprised of faculty, staff, students, and Wooster’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. More information, including links to a complete list of topics for the justice dialogues and registration for service projects, can be found here.