BATON ROUGE – Born on Jan. 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy endures almost 33 years after his assassination in Memphis, Tenn. As the nation honors the memory of the famed civil rights leader, members of the LSU community celebrate his life and reflect on the way he has touched their lives with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration to help fulfill King’s dream that all Americans live up to their potential and make this nation a better place.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration will kick off at 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, when members of the university community depart the LSU Student Union for the “Day of Service,” co-sponsored by the LSU Community University Partnership. LSU students, faculty, staff and administrators will converge on McKinley High School, 800 East McKinley Street, to assist with the revitalization efforts including cleaning and painting. Participants will be afforded a hands-on opportunity to aid the local community and promote volunteerism, one of King’s fundamental principles.
Following the “Day of Service,” a candlelight vigil and march, sponsored by National Pan-Hellenic Council, will be held to observe Martin Luther King Day. The candlelight vigil will begin at 6 p.m. with a short program at the Memorial Tower, and the march will proceed to the LSU Student Union. The program will be held in the spirit of King and the Civil Rights marches of the 1960s to remember those who marched for freedom and the eradication of the ills of society.
On Wednesday, Jan. 23, the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee and the Black History Month Committee will host author, scholar and social commentator Michael Eric Dyson for the keynote address at the MLK Commemorative Celebration. Dyson’s address is free and open to the public and will take place beginning at 6 p.m. at the LSU Union Theater.
A professor of sociology at Georgetown University and the author of more than a dozen books, Dyson has been an American Book Award recipient, two-time NAACP Image Award winner and is considered to be one of the nation’s most influential public intellectuals.
The MLK Commemorative Celebration concludes on Thursday, Jan. 24, with the MLK Performing Arts Night. One of the most anticipated events of the MLK Celebration, Performing Arts Night will be held in the LSU Union Theater beginning at 6 p.m. King’s enduring legacy has long been associated with his means of creative expression as an orator, a reverend, and a civil rights activist. The MLK Performing Arts Night, which is free and open to the public, will allow LSU students to celebrate the life and legacy of King through poetry, dance, and musical expression.
The 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration is coordinated by the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee and the Black History Month Committee. For more information contact the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs at 225-578-4339, or visit www.lsu.edu/oma.