By Dakota Damschroder
New opportunities to get involved will arise at Emerson during the last week of January with the second annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Week, a series of events and service opportunities for all members of the campus community and community partners.
“He believed that we are obligated to share our resources with others and to lift up, not only in word but in our deeds, those who do not share in life’s bounty,” said President Lee Pelton. “He would have been justly proud of our collective commitment to the larger society.”
While MLK Week is still in the planning stages, community leaders are already well underway organizing across units and departments. The week kicks off on Jan. 26th with a dialogue that will draw faculty, students, and campus administrators for honest discussions on how to address race and racism. Jay Smooth, a viral vlogger and cultural critic, will visit campus on Jan. 28th for a lecture and Q & A the same day that the “I Rise, We Rise” breakfast will be held to honor Boston community leaders. A Walker 10 Salon on Jan 29th will feature dramatic readings of foundational writings on race, and the week culminates in a Day of Service, through which participants will serve either at various local non-profits or will engage in on-campus service activities.
MLK Week will be a campus-wide moment designed to honor the legacies of King and other social justice leaders, to educate the community about the importance of solidarity, and to connect Emersonians through service.
“It’s what Martin Luther King and Elma Lewis were all about,” said Kelly Bates, the Executive Director of the Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research. “Making a difference starts with us.”
The MLK Week planning committee includes the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Service Learning and Community Action, the Elma Lewis Center, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and GLBTQ Resources, the Office of Off-Campus Student Services and Community Engagement and EBONI.
Organizers will alert the community soon as to how to get involved.