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MLK, Jr. Celebration

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MLK Day Celebration 2020: "The Reality of Hope"MLK Jr.

Mark your calendar and clear the day! The excitement is building for a full day of service, learning, and celebration on and off campus Monday, January 20, in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We've got some difficult days ahead," civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., told a crowd gathered at Memphis's Clayborn Temple on April 3, 1968. "But it really doesn't matter to me now because I've been to the mountaintop. . . . And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land." Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Scripture:  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. — 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

Please go to for more details on all MLK Day events.


Sunday, January 19

Rides leave University Commons at 1:00 p.m.

1:30 p.m. - Community Church Service with Northeast Neighborhood Speaker, Jennifer McClellan

6 p.m. - JourneyDance, Black Box Theater

Monday, January 20

On Campus

9:30 a.m. - Speak Out and Solidarity March, Thomas Plaza

10:10 a.m. - Convocation Program and Talk Back, with Dr. Jalane Schmidt, Lehman Auditorium 

11:30 a.m. - Drumming Circle, Lehman Auditorium

11:45 a.m. - Barbershop Talk, with Tyrone Sprague, Barbershop in University Commons

12:00 p.m. - Intro to Safe Zone Training (everyone), Library 121

1:30 p.m - Speak Out: Racism at EMU Student Panel, Campus Center 105

1:30 p.m. - Harriet Tubman Museum Tour, 2065 Reservoir St., with Stan Maclin. Rides leave University Commons at 1 p.m.

1:30 p.m. - Activism on College Campuses Part I: What we need to know?, with Dr. Jalane Schmidt, University Commons 176

1:30 p.m. - Lecture: “Remembering the Confederacy: A Monumental Debate,” with Professor Mark Sawin, Common Grounds

2:30 p.m. - Harriet Tubman Museum Tour, 2065 Reservoir St., with Stan Maclin. Rides leave University Commons at 2 p.m.

3 p.m. - Lecture: “Remembering the Confederacy: A Monumental Debate,” with Professor Mark Sawin, Common Grounds

3:30 p.m. - Activism on College Campuses Part II: What do we need to do?, with Dr. Jalane Schmidt, University Commons 176

4 p.m. - Movie Showing: Something the Lord Made, Suter Science Center 106

5 p.m. - Diversity Training by Worthy Consulting & Training (faculty and staff), University Commons 211/212

7 p.m. - Movie Showing: Son of Man, Science Center 106

7:30 p.m. - Diversity Training by Worthy Consulting & Training (students), University Commons 211/212

Washington DC, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Cultural Experience - 6 a.m.-7 p.m.

Rides leave University Commons at 6:00 a.m. Please email Celeste Thomas at if you would like to participate in this experience.

9:30 a.m. - Arrive at the Anacostia Metro Station - we'll need to talk about getting your group into DC

10:00 a.m. - MLK Day Parade with Community of Hope

12:00 p.m. - Lunch

2:00 p.m. - Visit the MLK Memorial and have a remembrance

2:45 p.m. - Depart for EMU

Harrisonburg Area Community Events

8 a.m. - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Breakfast, Lucy Simms Center, Harrisonburg. 620 Simms Ave, Harrisonburg

12 p.m. - People’s Day March hosted by the Martin Luther King Jr. Way Coalition. Meet on Martin Luther King Jr. Way near Mason St., in front of JMU’s Mason St. Parking Deck

6 p.m. - James Madison University Formal Program with speaker Ray Suarez

7:30 p.m. - Bridgewater College Endowed Lecture with Dr. Jelani Cobb

Service Projects

Throughout the day, gift cards to local grocery stores will be collected at all events in support of students on and off campus dealing with hunger. Send gift cards to Celeste Thomas through campus mail or hand in at Convocation at 10:10am on Monday.

Service project in Northeast Neighborhood will take place on Friday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. It will be a church beautification service project at Bethel AME.

More on the Convocation Speaker

Dr. Jalane Schmidt’s research and teaching is focused upon African diaspora religions of the Caribbean and Latin America, and particularly festivity and ritual. She teaches courses which consider the effects of colonization and the slave trade upon religious practice in the Americas. In her book project on 20th c. Cubans’ devotion to their patron saint, I examine religious, racial, and cultural hybridity in the Americas by interpreting the national expansion of this popular cult. In her emerging research, she is investigating how the history of slavery is performed in spirit possession rituals and expressed in material culture. Particularly, she is concerned with how contemporary mediums describe heightened sensory perception as a means for navigating traumatic emotional terrain.

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bethel College
Master of Divinity (MDIV), Harvard University
Master of Arts (MA), Harvard University
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Harvard University

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