HomepageNewsHonoring Martin Luther King Jr. with a Weeklong Celebration

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. with a Weeklong Celebration

Our traditional Day of Service, lightning lectures, and workshops held in conjunction with Perkiomen Valley School District marked the start of the college’s annual MLK Week, a celebration honoring the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement.

President Marsteller ’78, P’18 shared a message at the start of the week, calling on the Ursinus community to help fulfill King’s vision of a “Beloved Community” and “channel his vision in ways that further fuel our commitment to the college’s community values and our open questions. Through this work, let us see ourselves as part of a larger human family, which will surely strengthen our ability to tackle injustice in the world. And let us especially remain inspired by Dr. King’s struggle for fairness and love and a society that is inclusive of all identities and experiences.”

Beyond our campus borders, resident advisers, Scholars in Service, and Bonner Leaders were among the student groups who participated in service events. Due to inclement weather, Perkiomen Valley School District’s drive-through donation station—at which UC Ambassadors and other student groups planned to volunteer—has been rescheduled to Presidents Day on Feb. 22.

Virtual “Lightning Talks” featured short presentations from Professor of Environmental Studies and Chair Patrick Hurley (“Fostering Cultural-Ecological (Re)Connections: The Role of the Ursinus Food Forest in Welcoming Home the Lenape”); Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology Andrea Kauffman-Berry (“What Is Race?”); Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair Kneia DaCosta (“How do students of color keep their dignity when others’ words hurt?”); and Annie Stockmal ’22 (“What Makes a Movie a Black Film?”). 

Following the talks, four members of the Ursinus community hosted workshops in partnership with Perkiomen Valley School District. Career and Post-Graduate Development Director Sue Valerio Sladen offered tips on choosing a college major; Admission Counselor Amanda Young discussed the college admission process; Director of Sustainability Kate Keppen led a session on the benefits of planting trees; and Assistant Director of UCARE Angela Upright led a session in which participants reflected on how their passions might intersect with community needs.

Added to the annual campus display of prominent quotes from African American luminaries are quotes from Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician (among those profiled in Hidden Figures) who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 at age 97, and Ronald E. McNair, a NASA astronaut and physicist who died during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. These new quotes can be seen in Pfahler Hall.

Other events this week include:

Jan. 18 - 21: “Disability Fast-Forward: What We’ve Learned from Dr. King, Civil Rights, and the Disability Rights Movement”

Jan. 18 - 21: William Earle Williams’ “A Stirring Song, Sung Heroic: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom, 1619 to 1865” (This exhibit runs through April 2022.)

Jan. 19: Film screening of 42, starring the late Chadwick Boseman

Jan. 20: “Lightning Talks” with Assistant Professor of Biology Jennifer King (“Culture, Lessons, and Legacy: Reflections of the Historically Black College & University Experience”); College Chaplain and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Terri Ofori (“The Interfaith Influence in the Civil Rights Movement”); Professor of English Matt Kozusko (“Coates, Douglass, Alexander: Talking About Race in CIE”); and Miles Noecker ’23 (“Frederick Douglass’s Rhetoric of Political Conversion at Finsbury Chapel”).

Jan. 21: “Lightning Talks” with Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology Andrea Kauffman-Berry (“Using Critical Race Theory to Re-imagine the Police”); Director of the Center for Writing and Speaking Talia Argondezzi (“Black Authors in CIE and the Power of the Particular”); Serena Rose Gaskin ’23 (“African American Culture and Spirituality”); and Ally St. Jean ’22 (“The Covid Pandemic and Racial Disparities”).

Jan. 21: Reading and discussion with Professor of English M. Nzadi Keita (“Brief Evidence of Heaven”)

For more information regarding the week’s events, visit https://go.ursinus.edu/MLKWeek2022.

Quick Links

Related Topics

Diversity and Inclusion
News Home