A week full of MLK activities begins on campus Monday

Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 9:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 9:22 p.m.

University of Florida students will be able to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and message via a week of events and programs throughout the community.


MLK activities

Monday, Jan. 17

What: Day of Service

Where: Touchdown Terrace

When: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (light breakfast provided at 8:30 a.m.)

What: Day of Service Closing Ceremony; Reflection & Celebration of Dr. King

Where: Touchdown Terrace

When: 11 a.m. to noon (light lunch provided)

What: King Celebration Annual Commemorative March

Where: Bo Diddley Community Plaza

When: Noon

Tuesday, Jan. 18

What: “TV Guide: A Look at Social Media”

Where: Reitz Student Union, Room 282

When: 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 19

What: Temperature Check Part 2: The Follow-Up

Where: Reitz Student Union, Room 357

When: 7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 20

What: Nikki Giovanni: An Evening of Poetry, Love, and Enlightenment

Where: Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

When: 7 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 21

What: Candlelight vigil

Where: Reitz Student Union Amphitheater

When: 7 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 23

What: Writing on the Wall Project Kick-off

Where: Plaza of the Americas

When: All day

“The theme of the events will continue this year to empower individuals to ‘Leave Your Mark’ through reflection on eight values lived by King: courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility, service and tolerance,” according to Jarrod Cruz, UF’s director of multicultural and diversity affairs.

The week will kick off on Monday with a Day of Service around Gainesville. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided to participants, who can sign up online and will be assigned to a project when they arrive.

One project will involve a school’s beautification, and participants will help clean the grounds, Cruz said. A hospice service project is also planned.

Cruz said since not all the sites are confirmed yet, the complete list will not be posted until the day of the event.

After the volunteering, Mary Kay Schneider Carodine, assistant vice president for student affairs, will speak about “what service has done through humility” at a reflection session, Cruz said.

A march will start at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza in downtown Gainesville and go to the MLK Multipurpose Center off Waldo Road. Cruz asks all interested UF employees, faculty and students to meet at noon to march behind a UF banner.

A program on Tuesday will discuss the effects of how minorities are portrayed on popular culture. Popular shows such as “The Boondocks” and “Family Guy” will be critiqued.

“MLK is non-violent,” Cruz said. “What would he say if he saw some of these shows today? What can we learn about his values? About his temperament?”

On Wednesday, there will be a follow-up discussion with Shaun Harper to compare how the campus climate has changed since he visited last semester. Cruz said Harper will examine how the community can move forward to a more cohesive climate.

Acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni will be the keynote event of the week.

“Giovanni will discuss the ideals of equality in her dramatic oratory and share the experiences and thoughtful poetry that embody her activism and legacy of passion for the arts,” according to Cruz.

Cruz said the MLK steering committee and students were passionate about bringing Giovanni’s message to the student body.

“They really thought her message would ring through the community here and in the city,” Cruz said. “It is really reflective of MLK himself.”

Giovanni will hold a book signing after her speech.

“She will stay until every person who wants a book signed gets one,” Cruz said.

Tickets are free and can be picked up outside the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts up to and through the day of the event. Books can be purchased at the UF Bookstore and in the lobby of the Phillips Center following the speech while supplies last.

On Friday, Jan. 21, a candlelight vigil will be held and will include a re-enactment of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. A dozen and a half people will read lines from the speech, Cruz said, which will be “reflective of different communities with people from different backgrounds.”

“His message was not just for one group of people but for all people,” Cruz said. “It was his vision for America.”

The last event will be the week-long Writing on the Wall Project, which begins on Jan. 23 at the Plaza of the Americas. A 9-by-40-foot cinder block wall will be constructed throughout the week to represent “oppression and inhumanity toward all people.” It will be pulled down at the end of the week to represent “tearing down the barriers among us.”

For more information on events and to register for the Day of Service, visit http://multicultural.ufl.edu/mlk/.

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