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MLK, Jr. Celebration

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MLK Day Celebration 2022

MLK Jr.

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” —Martin Luther King, Jr., “Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story” (1958)

Sunday, December 12, 2021

8 am - 5 pm: Trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, MLK, Jr. Monument and Holocaust Museum, Washington, D.C. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

6 pm: Showing of Anne and Emmett, Lehman Auditorium. OPEN TO EMU COMMUNITY MEMBERS ONLY  - Everyone must be masked throughout the entire performance and talk back. Talk backs will follow immediately after each performance. Performance Information.
Download the Anne and Emmett program

Saturday, January 15

2 pm:  Showing of Anne and Emmett, Lehman Auditorium. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC  - - Everyone must be masked throughout the entire performance and talk back. Talk backs will follow immediately after each performance. Performance Information.
Download the Anne and Emmett program

Sunday, January 16

2 pm: Community Church Service, Register for the webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/ register/WN_ 3ZgGrnXjR86tWh2AdUqJpg or watch on Facebook Live

  • Preacher of the hour: Glen Guyton, Executive Director Mennonite Church USA
  • Worship Leader: Reverend Kimberly Young, Pastor, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Harrisonburg, VA

5 pm: CANCELLED due to weather: Showing of Anne and Emmett, Lehman Auditorium. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - Everyone must be masked throughout the entire performance and talk back. Talk backs will follow immediately after each performance. Performance Information.
Download the Anne and Emmett program

Monday, January 17

7 a.m: Journey Dance: "Dancing Resilience" with Katie Mansfield
Click this link to join the dance: https://zoom.us/j/ 94536195898

9 am: Speak Out, Solidarity March and ringing of the bell - In person march will take place in University Commons on the track directly following the virtual speak out. Please join us in the Hall of Nations to begin the march at 9:40 am. Join the virtual speak out: https://zoom.us/meeting/ register/tJUuceisqDgpEtYHiguk_ IIHKPtD34DpQq82

10am: Convocation and Q&A
Register to watch the webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/ register/WN_qHQ1l__ 8S3OHETEZ8Q2wpQ or watch on Facebook Live

  • Speaker: Glen Guyton, Executive Director Mennonite Church USA

12 p.m.: Journey Dance: "Dancing Resilience" with Katie Mansfield
Click this link to join the dance: https://zoom.us/j/ 94536195898

12 - 1:15 pm: - Reading circles (sermons and speeches)

1:30 - 3:15pm – Concurrent Workshops

  1. Mark Sawin – Violence Silenced: The Legal Lynching of Pink Barbour—Harrisonburg, 1910."  Register for the webinar
  2. Ani Beitzel - Safe Space- Hangout for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people - Register for the hang out
  3. Akiel Baker and Naomi Davis, EMU Alum Cords of Distinction Alumni Discussion - Register for the webinar
  4. Christian Parks, EMU Alum - "Give Me That Good News - Post College Success"- Register for the webinar

3:30 - 5 pm: Showing of Anne and Emmett, Lehman Auditorium. OPEN TO EMU COMMUNITY ONLY - Everyone must be masked throughout the entire performance and talk back. Talk backs will follow immediately after each performance.
Register to watch the show by webinar
Performance Information.

Download the Anne and Emmett program

  • Dr. Bob Bersson and Celeste R. Thomas will co-facilitate the Anne and Emmett Talk Back following the showing

7 p.m.: Journey Dance: "Dancing Resilience" with Katie Mansfield
Click this link to join the dance: https://zoom.us/j/ 94536195898

Convocation points will be logged for students who register for the Zoom Webinar with their emu.edu email address.

Service Projects

Y-Serve Non-perishable Food Drive

  • Donations of food and funds (in whatever form) for shopping at local grocery stores can be sent or brought to the Student Life Suite between January 14-24. Thank you!

New Bridges Meal Preparation for the homeless community.  Please contact celeste.thomas@emu.edu for details about how you can participate in this service project.  

More Information 

"Anne and Emmett"

Janet Langhart Cohen’s play  “Anne and Emmett” is a special production sponsored with grants from Interfaith Youth Core, the Arts Council of the Valley, EMU Multicultural Student Services and the EMU Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The production is produced by Celeste Thomas, director of Multicultural Student Services, and directed by Ezrionna Prioleau ‘17.

“This play aims to create dialogue around race, religion, oppression, healing and reconciliation,” said Thomas. Her motivation to produce the play is linked strongly to the “continuation of hate” in the world today, she added. “I wanted to bring Anne and Emmett’s stories to light. We must never forget that their lives were short-lived but meaningful.”

This year’s MLK Day theme centers around King’s words from Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story (1958):  “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

“Anne and Emmett” tells the story of Anne Frank, a Jewish child killed in the Holocaust, and Emmett Till, a teenager murdered in Mississippi, and their parents, who refused to be silent in sharing the stories of the hate that killed their children.

 Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed, a member of EMU’s Board of Trustees, joins students Greta Schrag, Thaddeus Jackson, Isaac Longacre and Andrew Stoltzfus to present the stories of Emmett Till and Anne Frank and their parents, Otto Frank and Mamie Till.

Prioleau has been working to direct this play at EMU since 2019, when she first discovered it.

“Anne Frank and Emmett Till were two children who were unable to escape the hate in the worlds they lived in,” she writes in her director’s notes. “Mamie Till-Mobley and Otto Frank both lost their children …They both spoke up and told the world what happened, Mamie with a picture and Otto with words. The parallels in their stories are important and without them we may have never known about what hate was doing.”

Read more from Thomas and Prioleau as well as composer Joshua Overacker ‘21 in the play program. 

"Violence Silenced: The Legal Lynching of Pink Barbour—Harrisonburg, 1910."  

led by: Mark M. Sawin, history faculty

In 1910, Pink Barbour, a young African American man accused of first degree murder, was nearly lynched, but to save face, Harrisonburg instead gave him a speedy trial that ended in his execution less than 3 months after his crime. This story demonstrates how the judicial system replaced lynching as the "legitimate" form of violence to maintain Virginia's strict racial boundaries. Register for the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/98797864800?pwd=R0w3L2VETzBHeC96R3ZWTkZ1YytMdz09

Safe Space

Led By: Ani Beitzel

Please join us for a Safe Space Hangout for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people to talk and hangout. This will be a space for community but also serious conversations if necessary.  Register for the webinar:  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUkf-ihqT8oH9a0hrT9w7VyjTvKM3QgrRYL

Cords of Distinction Alumni Discussion

led by: Akiel Baker and Naomi Davis

Within our session we will be talking about being cords recipients at EMU and what that means not only for the university, but for us. Even though we are honored to have been recognized for our "significant and verifiable impact" on the university, we know that our engagement within the EMU community was borne of necessity to fight for our own survival and the survival of our loved ones within our institution. We decided to write a letter to the university to address our concerns, and express our dreams of a university where all students feel safe and have room to flourish.... Register for the webinar: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMpce6qqjsjHtGgB8nHGYQvHQvtGJsS7azn 

Give Me That Good News - Post College Success

led by: Christian Parks, Ph.D. Candidate

In celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and founded on the doctrine of Jesus Christ, this seminar will give participants the opportunity to interact with the Word of God and engage with black culture past and present. The objective is to plant a seed of success grounded in God and self. The hope is participants leave encouraged in what God has gifted them with. Register for the webinar: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwsdOyvpz8jGNJvawEY6TI5UkYffbwnEgCi

Journey Dance: Dancing Resilience

Alice Walker wrote, "Hard times require furious dancing." For about 20 minutes, let's dance together in our own spaces (via zoom). Join at 7am, 12noon, or 7pm eastern. MLK Day playlists will lift up the struggle for liberation and invite 

  • freedom of movement, 
  • honor of what our bodies are carrying and creating, and 
  • release of whatever needs letting go. 

Feel free to dance with camera on or off, furiously or otherwise. Some dancers have been doing these 20-minute dances about 3 times a day since March 2020. Others joined more recently. You'll be invited to "check out" verbally at the end of the dance, sharing your name and where you're dancing. 

Click this link to join the dance: https://zoom.us/j/ 94536195898

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