MLK Jr. Celebration

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Beloved Community - MLK Jr. Celebration 2023

But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends. The type of love that I stress here is not eros, a sort of esthetic or romantic love; not philia, a sort of reciprocal love between personal friends; but it is agape which is understanding goodwill for all men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. It is the love of God working in the lives of men. This is the love that may well be the salvation of our civilization.

— from “The Role of the Church in Facing the Nation's Chief Moral Dilemma,” 1957

Sunday, January 15, 2023

3 pm - Community Worship Service (Immanuel Mennonite Church, 400 Kelley St., Harrisonburg, VA)

6-8 pm - Documentary Screening of “On These Grounds" (Old Common Grounds)

Monday, January 16, 2023

9 am- Speak Out and Solidarity March, featuring EMU alumnus Christian Parks (Student Union)

*10:10 am - MLK Convocation with featured leaders from “On These Grounds" and The Reverend Vincent Walter Jones, pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Bedford, VA (Lehman Auditorium). This event will be livestreamed on Facebook Live from our EMU Facebook pageStudents must attend in person to receive Convocation points.

*1:15-2:30 pm - Drumming with Dr. Rahm Bhagat (UC 177- Old Common Grounds)

*1:15-2:30 pm - "Let’s Talk About Race" - Black Student Alliance (UC 211/212)

*3-4:15 pm - "Separate TOGETHER: EMU, Newtown & the Life of Doris Harper Allen" - Mark Sawin, Deanna Reed, and Harper family members and friends (UC 211/212)

*3-4:15 pm - MLK Convocation Talkback: A Discussion of the Documentary "On These Grounds" with Niya, Vivian, and Dr. Rahm Bhagat.  Hosted by Jonathan Swartz. (UC 177- Old Common Grounds)

*6:30 pm - "Lift Every Voice" Poetry Reading and Spoken Word with author and EMU alumnus Christian Parks (Student Union)

*Convocation points will be logged for students who attend these events in person.


on these grounds movie poster

More About 'On These Grounds'

Film Synopsis

A video goes viral, showing a white police officer in South Carolina pull a Black teenager from her school desk and throw her across the floor. Healer-Activist Vivian Anderson uproots her life in New York City to move to South Carolina to support the girl and dismantle the system behind the assault at Spring Valley, including facing the police officer. Adding context, geographer Janae Davis treks the surrounding swamps and encounters the homes of formerly enslaved people of African descent, connecting the past to the present. Against the backdrop of a racial reckoning and its deep historical roots, one incident illuminates how Black girls, with the support of organizers, are creating a more just and equitable future for themselves and our entire education system.

Service Projects

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 anytime during the month of January. Thank you!

Bridge of Hope

Please contact for details about how you can participate in this service project: meal preparation for the homeless community at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Roof and Steeple Capital Campaign

Historic Bethel African Methodist Church
Please donate to the churches' efforts to replace the roof and repair the steeple.

On Givelify:
Bethel AME Harrisonburg, VA 

By Mail:

Bethel AME Church
184 Kelley Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22802

Speaker: Rev. Vincent Walter Jones

rev jones

Rev. Vincent Walter Jones is in his ninth year as the proud pastor of the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Bedford, Virginia. He grew up as the middle son to parents James and Marie Jones in Danville, Virginia, where he graduated from George Washington High School and was a member of the Greater Triumph Baptist Church; he was baptized at the age of seven by Dr. H.G. McGhee.

Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in counseling at Virginia Tech. He became a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Eta Lambda Chapter in the fall of 1994. He currently resides in Lynchburg, Virginia, and is the proud father of daughters Nia, Zoe, and Laila Grace. 

Jones is an elementary school counselor at R.S. Payne Elementary School and a mental health therapist. He formerly was foster care and adoption supervisor for the City of Lynchburg where he specialized in the completion of adoptions, while assisting hundreds of families and children return home with assistance, structure and services. He is also the former assistant director of programs for Hughes Memorial Home for Children with significant behavioral and emotional difficulties.

Jones coached track at Heritage High, where he led the team to five championships. He has also coached little league football and chaired the board for Hill City Football and Cheer Program and giving for the Gamma Omega Chapter (Lynchburg) of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. He was voted Omega Man of the Year for 2021-2022.

Jones became licensed to minister in 2006, ordained as an elder in the Church of God in Christ in 2010 under Bishop L. E. Willis II. He was ordained in the Baptist Church in 2013, at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church under the tutelage of Senior Pastor Lucius M. Dalton. 

Jones believes strongly in community advancement through teamwork as a lifetime system for his labors of love. He lives by the creed “Live hungry… die serving!” and by the scripture “For with God nothing shall be impossible!” (Luke 1:37).


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