For this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, Murray State on Monday hosted a candlelight vigil, a community breakfast and an collection of food and personal items for local nonprofits in honor of the civil rights leader.
Murray State’s Office of Multicultural Affairs partnered with the Division of Student Affairs, Office of Student Life, Office of Regional Outreach, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the City of Murray and the Office of Regional Academic Outreach to host its’ annual Martin Luther King Day of Service.
According to the website of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, “The King Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and teachings into community service that helps solve social problems.”
The celebration of King’s life began Sunday, Jan. 17, as members of the university community gathered for a candlelight vigil outside of Pogue Library.
Ivy Anderson, senior from Memphis, Tennessee, attended the vigil as a part of her involvement with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, or OMA.
Anderson said the crowd at the vigil was small and the temperature was “excruciatingly cold.” But she said enduring physical discomfort was nothing when compared to the sting of racism.
She said that even though Martin Luther King, Jr. Day covers one calendar day, conversations about race and the civil rights movement must continue.
In fact, Murray State’s Presidential Lecture Series will bring
Martin Luther King III – King’s son – to speak on campus Feb. 8.
“Having a speaker like Martin Luther King III opens discussion and dialogue that may have been hard to have,” Anderson said.
She said King’s son personifies the civil rights movement, something that happened before her time.
“It’s not his grandson or great grandson … that’s his son,” she said.
Anderson not only attended the vigil, but the next day she attended the breakfast and the day of service.
She said the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha spearheaded the breakfast, which included keynote speaker Curtis Daniel, a pastor and radio personality from Ohio.
President Bob Davies, Mayor Jack Rose, Director of Office of Multicultural Affairs S.G. Carthell, Interim Provost Tim Todd, Vice President of Student Affairs Don Robertson and others attended the breakfast, which was held in the Curris Center Ballroom.
After 10 a.m., students and staff from the Office of Multicultural Affairs collected items for local nonprofits as part of the service project.
Anderson said donations went to charities such as Need Line.