Wooster’s Expanded MLK Day Celebration Will Include Concert, Film, Keynote Address, More

Kimberly Brazwell’s address at ceremony on Monday, Jan. 20, followed by justice dialogue and service project opportunities

January 9, 2020   /  

WOOSTER, Ohio – “Living the Vision: MLK Celebration 2020,” The College of Wooster’s commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will feature a concert, a film screening, a keynote address, justice dialogues, and service projects during the weekend of Jan. 17-20.

This year’s expanded celebration kicks off Friday night, Jan. 17, with a performance by Mourning [A] BLKstar, a Cleveland-based band that describes itself as a “multi-generational, gender, and genre non-conforming amalgam of black culture dedicated to servicing the stories and songs of the apocalyptic diaspora.” Their show will take place in The Alley of Lowry Center (1189 Beall Ave.) at 8:30 p.m.

Mourning [A] BLKstar
Mourning [A] BLKstar
On Saturday evening, Jan. 18, “From Selma to Stonewall: Are We There Yet?,” will be screened at The Alley, starting at 6 p.m. The 60-minute documentary explores the similarities, differences, and conflicts between the black civil rights and gay rights movements.

In conjunction with MLK Day on Monday, Jan. 20, Wooster will hold an opening ceremony at McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.) at 9 a.m., including a keynote address by Kimberly Brazwell as well as student performances. Brazwell, a tireless community builder and social justice advocate, is the founder and CEO of KiMISTRY, a consulting firm that specializes in reshaping “fit” perspective by examining the intersectionality of equity and inclusion, behavioral healthcare and holistic wellness for a trauma-informed experiential application to human engagement. In addition, she is currently working to launch Eden Grooming Order, a provider that will integrate behavioral and holistic health services and products directly into the barbershop. Brazwell is the author of multiple poetry books and “Browning Pleasantville,” a memoir about a predominantly white institution’s reaction to the “browning” of its attitudes, interests, and motives.

Kimberly Brazwell
Kimberly Brazwell

Wooster will also continue its tradition of providing 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, designed to share meaningful conversations about issues relating to civil rights and social justice activism, responsibility, and engagement, will be moderated by Wooster alumni, faculty, staff, and/or students. For a full list of topics and times/locations, click here.

This year’s service projects include making dry soup packets, quilt tops, blankets, and even tutus for a women’s empowerment 5K, all of which support a variety of local nonprofits and organizations. To volunteer for a service project, signup here.

Also on Monday, there will be a prayer breakfast at Westminster Church House (353 E. Pine St.) from 7:45-8:45 a.m., during which prayers/readings centered on hope, healing, and justice will be read by students from different faith traditions.

The “Living the Vision: MLK Celebration 2020” is coordinated by a committee of faculty, staff, students, and Wooster’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion.