March, Vigil, Banquet Highlight Martin Luther King Day for Campus and Community
Other events planned before, during and after holidayThursday, January 17, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A commemorative march will be held in Fayetteville followed by a memorial vigil on the University of Arkansas campus to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21. The 17th annual Community Recommitment Banquet will be held that evening. Several other events are also planned as part of the Northwest Arkansas celebration of the national holiday that honors the life and legacy of King. These events have been organized by the Northwest Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Council and the University of Arkansas MLK Committee.
The theme for this year’s events is “Service to Many Leads to Greatness.”
The MLK Day march will begin at 11:15 a.m., leaving from the Walton Arts Center parking lot and ending at the Verizon Ballroom in the Arkansas Union on the Fayetteville campus. Before the march city officials will hold a brief ceremony announcing the winner of the Martin Luther King Jr. Brotherhood Award, which goes to a Fayetteville city employee who exhibits the qualities exemplified by King.
The vigil will begin at noon in the Verizon Ballroom. It is organized and sponsored by the Associated Student Government to promote King’s ideas and ideals. Calvin White Jr., U of A assistant professor of history and director of African and African American studies, will be the keynote speaker. The U of A Inspirational Singers will perform during the vigil.
University Libraries Special Collections will have a table set up outside the ballroom, with information about King, African American history and the libraries’ Daisy Bates and Geleve Grice collections.
The MLK Day march and vigil are free and open to the public.
The Community Recommitment Banquet, sponsored by the NWA MLK Council, will be at 7 p.m. in the Fayetteville Town Center. Speakers will include Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan; Karen Armstrong, vice president of diversity and leadership development, Tyson Foods Inc.; Pastor Marcus Carruthers, The Dwelling Place, Fayetteville; and Sharon Orlopp, global chief diversity officer and senior vice president, Walmart Stores Inc.
The council will award 25 scholarships to high school, undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, five individual awards will be presented: Kemmian Johnson will receive the Rodney Momon Youth Award; Al “Papa Rap” Lopez will be presented the Ernestine White-Gibson Individual Achievement Award; the Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart; Louis Bryant will be honored with the Rev. J.A. Hawkins Sr. Posthumous Award; and the U of A Office of University Relations will be named the Organization of the Year.
Tickets for the Community Recommitment Banquet are $25 for adults and $15 for students, and are available at http://www.nwamlk.org.
Several other events are planned around the holiday, beginning with a Day of Service starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. Volunteers from the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity will perform community service at the Salvation Army in Fayetteville. Other community members are encouraged to find local non-profit agencies in need of volunteer help for their projects.
A memorial service offering a time to reflect on King’s message will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at the St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 764 W. North Street in Fayetteville.
These events are both sponsored by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the NWA MLK Council.
The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday will begin with two events for young people on the U of A campus. The annual Dream Keepers Youth Prayer Breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House, 491 N. Razorback Road, Fayetteville. More information is available at 479-435-1393. The breakfast will be followed at 9:30 a.m. by a series of youth games and athletic activities at the university Health, Physical Education Recreation Building. The NWA MLK Planning Committee, University of Arkansas Intramural Sports and Razorback Athletics are sponsoring these activities.
The final event, the MLK Day of Service, will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 22 in the Connections Lounge of the Arkansas Union. Local nonprofit agencies including the NWA chapter of the Red Cross, the NWA Children’s Shelter, Life Styles Inc., the Boys and Girls Club, the Full Circle Campus Food Pantry, the Belize Project and the Volunteer Action Center Literacy Program will have tables and projects set up in the lounge. Students will have a chance to work on projects for each agency, and will receive a T-shirt after completing their projects. The MLK Day of Service is sponsored by the university’s Volunteer Action Committee and MLK Committee.
Danielle L. Wood, president
NWA Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Council
Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
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