MLK Day 2020 at EMU in photos


Eastern Mennonite University’s MLK Day celebrations included service projects, lectures and workshops, a convocation, film showings and much more. Enjoy photos of highlighted events by Macson McGuigan, Kiana Childress and Jamie Reich.


A Sunday service at Lucy Simms Community Center, co-hosted by Northeast Neighborhood Association, EMU and Bethel African Methodist Episcopal church, brought state senator Jennifer McClellan, Harrisonburg mayor and EMU trustee Deanna Reed, and other speakers to commemorate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Students and Black Student Alliance officers Maya Dula and Jakiran Richardson at the morning’s solidarity march.


Students from EMU’s main campus, including (from left) KC Argueta-Rivas, Morgan Bradley and Dulce Shenk Zeager, traveled to Washington D.C. to participate with the nonprofit Community of Hope in Anacostia’s MLK Day Peace Parade. The visit to DC was hosted by Kimberly Schmidt and Jamie Reich, of The Washington Community Scholars’ Center, and students in residence there for the semester. Residence director Scott Eyre and his son Nolan also made the trip from Harrisonburg.

EMU staff and students met neighbors along the route through the heart of D.C.’s historic Anacostia neighborhood and handed out stress balls, chapstick and pamphlets about Community of Hope’s services. “The parade is a big event with African American Civil War re-enactors on horseback, lots of clowns, marching bands from as far away as Tallahassee, and a number of local organizations, non-profits represented in the parade,” said Schmidt. Prior to the parade, the group visited the MLK Memorial for a ceremony and gospel music. On Sunday, students at WCSC also traveled to Anacostia to a special worship service at Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, the first of its kind built east of the Anacostia River and known as the “mother church” for African American Catholics.


Drummers on stage in Lehman Auditorium, including Jonas Masiya (shown here), Victor Parker and Rodrigue Makelele, began the convocation festivities.

Convocation speaker Dr. Jalane Schmidt, from the University of Virginia, shares about her involvement as an activist and organizer before, during and after the events surrounding the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville.

Members of EMU’s Gospel Choir, joined by community musicians, perform at convocation with drummer Terry Jones and pianist Earnest Kiah. From left: David Chun, Natalie Brown, Amanda Jasper, Kiara Kiah, Rebecca Yugga, Jami Miles, Ariel Barbosa, Patricia DunnCarolyn Jackson, Sonja Myers and Janelle Birkey.

Rap artist and EMU alumnus Meechy Jay takes the stage.


Tyrone Sprague gives a haircut in the Royal Treatment student lounge, which opened last year in University Commons. A longtime contributor to EMU’s MLK Day celebrations, Sprague had hosted his annual barbershop talk in his business downtown until the new lounge space opened.


Professor Mark Sawin lectures on “Remembering the Confederacy: A Monumental Debate” in Common Grounds.


Student Tone Parker (right) leads a community drumming circle, joined by (from left) Emerson Brubaker, Andy King, Ariel Barbosa, Avery Trinh and Zavion Taylor.

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