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Martin Luther King, Jr. day observance 1-18-16

Joseph V. Sowmick - January 19, 2016

In an effort to provide bonus coverage, the CMU Campus and the Mount Pleasant Community came together on January 18 at Finch Fieldhouse celebrate and honor the rich legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  CMU President Dr. George Ross gave opening remarks at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. CommUNITY Peace Brunch with Tribal Observer, Joseph Sowmick, CMU Office for Institutional Diversity, Associate Vice President Dr. Carolyn Dunn, University Communications, Vice President Sherry Knight, Multicultural Academic Student Services, Executive Director Dr. Traci Guinn-Buckley, Native American Programs, Director Colleen Green and Niijkewehn Mentoring Coordinator Nicole McLachlan in attendance.


On the calendar as one of their signature annual events, the third week in January kicks off the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with a week of activities organized by the Multicultural Academic Student Services.  “A Day On, not a Day Off" is how Martin Luther King, Jr. Week is celebrated at Central Michigan University.  Other events include:


Tuesday, January 19

Power in the Ballot: REVCMU Events (Register, Educate, Vote CMU)(UC Rotunda)

10-12 noon- First Lady Ross & Selma Video

1-3 pm- Information Fair

3-5 pm- Iron Jawed Angels video

*The Mobile Secretary of State will be available to register voters


Wednesday, January 20

Martin Luther King, Jr. Blood Drive (UC Rotunda), 12pm-6pm


Martin Luther King, Jr. Week Keynote Speaker Shaun King (Plachta Auditorium), 7pm


Thursday, January 21

"The Price of Providence" documentary (UC auditorium), 5pm Cosponsored by CMU NAACP & Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.


Black Lives Matter (UC Terrace Rooms), 7pm


Friday, January 22

MLK Student/Faculty/Staff Charity Basketball Game (SAC Small Sports Forum), 6pm


Saturday, January 23

Unity Ball featuring the play "Humanity" (UC rotunda), 6pm

$7 for students, $10 for general public


CMU Students reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


"To me, Martin Luther King Jr. day is a reminder for us to love and respect one another and to not judge one another for the color of our skin. It's a day to celebrate the life of a man who fought so hard for equality for all. And a reminder for us that there is still work to be done to finish what he started." Olivia Manitowabi-McCullough, Hannahville Indian Tribe, CMU Junior


Martin Luther King Jr. brought his energy to the fight for equal rights in this country. Through his words, he has encouraged me to give back to my community and through my sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. by giving more than I receive and by helping those who do not have a voice. It is well deserved to have a national Holiday to commemorate his civil engagement and advocacy.  Colleen Green, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, CMU Director of Native American Programs & Student Transition Enrichment Program and Student


To me, MLK day is a day that honors and remembers the many achievements Martin Luther King Jr had during the Civil Rights Movement. I think its a day to remember the speeches he gave and the amount of effort he put into the movement despite all the racism and prejudice he faced during that time.  Sophie Manitowabi, Hannahville Indian Tribe, MMCC Student


A full story will be featured in the February issue of the Tribal Observer … until then, please enjoy the following inspirational excerpt from one of the greatest speeches in American history.


I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.   Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.  Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.  Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.   Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.  Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:  Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.  Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.  Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.  From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:


Free at last! Free at last!  Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

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