The beginning of the week celebrated the 83rd birthday of a true advocate for peace, Martin Luther King Jr.
This week, Fort Hays State University has been hosting its own celebration with three activities focused on promoting the legacy of King and his goals for a better nation.
Yesterday, the Office of Diversity Affairs handed out cake in the Memorial Union in honor of King’s birthday earlier this week.
Diversity Affairs will also be hosting a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. tonight in Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center, which will feature poetry from junior Jamison Green and instructor of sociology Micki Armstrong as well as presentations from Barry Scott.
Scott has been heralded by King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, as the most authentic orator to portray King’s dramatic and powerful speeches.
Scott will present some of King’s most well-known speeches, including his most famous speech, “I Have a Dream.”
The week will conclude with a service project hosted by Tigers in Service and Diversity Affairs Saturday, Jan. 21.
Students will be working with the elderly residents in Centennial Towers by playing games, watching movies and serving coffee and cookies.
George Jackson, director of Diversity Affairs said having Scott on campus will give students the chance to experience the impact King’s speeches had on their listeners and experience what his words truly meant.
“I’ve always wanted to hear those speeches read out loud from somebody that could interpret them, so I think it will be a good thing for Fort Hays to bring that kind of culture in,” Jackson said.
Jackson added that celebrating King’s legacy on campus brings a sense of diversity that is often overshadowed by getting appliance sales or the day off of school. Jackson explained that King’s birthday should be celebrated by every race in all walks of life to reflect the views of King himself.
“We’re in an age where we’re asking a lot of questions, and some people are going back to the earlier days to see if we’ve done everything we were supposed to do or if we have not. The Dr. King holiday is something for everyone, not just black people. It’s a great day of service,” Jackson said.
“I think we all have like-mindedness about putting our hands to the plow and doing the best service we can do.”