A complete guide to MLK Commemoration Week 2018

By Arpan Lobo | 1/10/18 9:28pm

GVL / Kevin Sielaff - Touré, Vice columnist and well known author, visits Grand Valley's Allendale campus on a chilly Jan. 18, 2016. Hundreds of students gathered inside the Fieldhouse to listen to Touré's keynote speech; the students also participated in a silent march before the event.

Since 2013, Grand Valley State University has been honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by dedicating an entire week each January to the commemoration of the late King. On Monday, Jan. 15, GVSU will continue its remembrance of King by starting the 2018 MLK Commemoration Week.

While classes are not held on MLK Day, GVSU will maintain an active campus and will continue to hold events during the entire week. These events give GVSU students, faculty and staff the opportunity to honor King's legacy in their own ways. All events are LIB 100- and 201-approved.

Monday, Jan. 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m - Upcycling event (Kirkhof Center Pere Marquette Room)

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m - "Back to Reality: Finding Our Freedom Through Storytelling" (Kirkhof Center, Rooms 2215/2216)

11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m - Free campus lunch (Kirkhof Center Grand River Room)

1p.m - Silent March to Fieldhouse. The Silent March begins at Zumberge Hall and concludes at the GVSU Fieldhouse.  

1:30 p.m - April Reign keynote (Fieldhouse). Reign is one of two keynote speakers for MLK Commemoration Week. Reign gained attention in 2015 for the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite after she perceived a racial gap in the Academy Awards. Reign is an attorney and writer currently residing in Washington, D.C. She has a social media following of more than 100,000.

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m - #WhereDoWeGoFromHere panel discussion (Kirkhof Center, Rooms 2215/2216)

Tuesday, Jan. 16

7 p.m - "How Shall We Remember" (DeVos Center Loosemore Auditorium). As a part of the Common Ground Initiative of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, Christy Coleman, CEO of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, Virginia, will lead a discussion on how individuals should go about remembering historical events such as the Civil War when facing issues of equity today.

Wednesday, Jan. 17

3 p.m - Workshop by Bree Newsome (Kirkhof Center Grand River Room)

4:30 p.m - Keynote presentation by Newsome (Kirkhof Center Grand River Room). Newsome is the second keynote speaker for this year's MLK Commemoration Week. Newsome is a filmmaker and artist currently living in North Carolina. In 2015, Newsome received attention for climbing a flag pole in Columbia, South Carolina, at the State Capitol to remove a Confederate flag. Newsome's actions came shortly after the mass shooting of African-American parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina. Newsome was arrested, but shortly after, the Twitter hashtag #FreeBree was created. $100,000 was raised for her $3,000 jail fine. Newsome's speech will also be simulcast to an audience in the DeVos Center Loosemore Auditorium.

Friday, Jan. 19

6 p.m. to 9 p.m - Shabbat Dinner (Kirkhof Center, Room 2270)

Saturday, Jan. 20

 9 a.m. to 4 p.m - MLK Day of Service and Solidarity. Volunteers will meet in front of the Cook-DeWitt Center, then travel to worksites. They will have the opportunity to complete service projects with community partners. The goal of the Day of Service is to inform those involved of the civil rights movement, and it aims to inspire volunteers to become engaged in their own communities by being advocates for social change and social justice.

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