UF MLK events kick off Monday

Published: Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 15, 2010 at 11:32 p.m.

The University of Florida will be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a series of events starting Monday during UF's "MLK 2010: Leave Your Mark" celebration.


'MLK 2010: Leave Your Mark'

MLK 2010 at UF kicks off on Monday and runs through Jan. 29. The events sponsored by UF's MLK Committee include:
Jan. 18: Day of Service, Plaza of the Americas, 8 a.m.
Jan. 19: Candlelight Vigil to honor Dr. King, Reitz Union Amphitheater, 7 p.m.
Jan. 20: Campus-wide conversation about the UF student experience, Reitz Union Grand Ballroom, 7 p.m.
Jan. 22: GatorNights, Reitz Union, 6 p.m-2 a.m.
Jan. 25: Forum on the politics, history and science of race and racism, Pugh Hall Ocora, 6 p.m.
Jan. 25: Volunteer Organization Fair, Reitz Union Colonnade, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Jan. 26: Inspirational speech by Dr. Ben Carson, philanthropist and pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, Reitz Union Grand Ballroom, 7 p.m.
Jan. 29: Closing ceremony and destruction of Writing on the Wall Project, Plaza of the Americas, 1:15 p.m.
Go online to www.multicultural.ufl.edu/mlk or MLK2010 on Facebook for more details.

Natalia Leal, MLK Celebration Planning Committee chair and assistant director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, said the university has only been holding an MLK celebration for the past couple of years. She said this year, UF's MLK committee, which sponsors the event, is continuing to expand the celebration's activities.

"One of the things we are doing this year is pushing every student to think about what they can do to leave a mark in the world," Leal said.

"That's really what Dr. King pushed for."

The events, held over an 11-day span, will feature forums, a march, volunteer opportunities and a candlelight vigil.

The MLK Committee, the sponsor of the celebration, has partnered with the ACCENT Speaker's Bureau to bring Dr. Ben Carson, philanthropist and head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, to deliver a motivational speech on Jan. 26. Carson, who was raised by a single mother, overcame a tough childhood and is now a renowned surgeon.

Carson's life was portrayed in a 2009 TNT original movie called "Gifted Hands."

"We believe Dr. Carson's story really personifies the purpose of the organization," Leal said. "He really conquered so much adversity to get where he is, and he talks about the importance of giving back."

The celebration will culminate with the symbolism derived from the demolition of a 40-by-9 foot cinder block wall that will be built over several days on the Plaza of the Americas.

The wall will first be covered in words and statements of oppression from Jan. 26-29.

It will then be torn down to represent the breaking down of barriers that exist between people.

Leal said many students are involved in the planning of MLK 2010 and she hopes students will attend the events.

"Hopefully, something will speak to every student," she said. "It is important for them to see the important impact Dr. King and his legacy have on our community."

UF MLK events kick off Monday

UF MLK events kick off Monday

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