On Monday, January 21, Colgate will kick off a weeklong program commemorating the life and work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. As the university begins a new semester of classes, all are invited to participate in a variety of programs aimed not only at remembering King’s work, but at bringing the local and national communities closer to the “beloved community” that King envisioned.
The full schedule for “MLK Week” is on the ALANA Cultural Center website. Events include the chance to learn about what the Colgate campus was like during King’s era from Professor Anthony Aveni, a trip to teach local school children about King’s legacy, an afternoon of community service, and much more.
The various events have been specifically designed “so that there is something for everyone on campus to be a part of,” according to Thomas Cruz-Soto, assistant dean of multicultural affairs. “Dr. King became a very formidable figure at the end of his life,” explained Cruz-Soto, “when he began working with people of all backgrounds collectively, as a unified group. We wanted this week to mirror that effort, incorporating everyone for a campuswide experience.”
At 7 p.m. Thursday, January 24, the president and cofounder of Rebuild the Dream, Van Jones, will deliver the week’s public keynote address titled “Rebuild The Dream: The Next American Economy” at Memorial Chapel. The keynote, which is anticipated to cover subjects as broad as civil rights, sustainability, and economics, will reflect the inclusive approach taken by MLK Week’s organizers.
Programs are sponsored by a number of campus organizations, including ALANA, the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE), the sustainability office, and various academic departments, among other groups.