JMU holds 36th annual MLK Day celebration program

Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 11:41 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Monday, James Madison University students and community members got to hear from the Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.

Dr. Lerone Martin spoke about Dr. King’s indifferences with racism and poverty and how doctor king would view our world today.

”King’s thoughts, his ideas, his philosophy, all emerges from this idea of the imago Dei and that every human being was made in the image of God,” Dr. Martin said.

For 36 years JMU has held the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

”While in his cell Dr. King notably wrote in a letter from the Birmingham jail ‘I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’” Xavier Williams, JMU student representative for the Board of Visitors said.

Before the keynote speech was given students brought Dr. King’s legacy to life with poems and dance.

“Racism is not something that’s just undesirable, it’s not just something that’s perhaps a preference but for Martin Luther King Jr. racism is a sin,” Dr. Martin said.

The celebrations don’t stop at the keynote speaker.

Tuesday, JMU will have an MLK breakfast the universities website says “this annual event, hosted by the JMU Chapter of the NAACP, is a time for students, faculty & staff to share a meal and conversation during the 2023 Celebration Week.”

It will take place on Jan. 17 at 10 am in The Union, Warren 256.

On Wednesday, JMU will host an MLK Speak Easy with “The Poetry Cafe.

JMU said “this University-wide event is an open mic opportunity to reflect on the legacy and contributions of Dr. MLK, Jr. through a speak-out, spoken word, poetry, and reflections.”

This will take place Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. in Taylor Down Under.