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UW-Madison to host MLK Day Celebration

January 9, 2017 By Mark Bennett

University of Wisconsin–Madison students, faculty and staff are invited to the 2017 UW–Madison MLK Day Celebration from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at Union South.

The event will recognize and celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the many ways UW–Madison community members embody King’s spirit of service. The celebration will feature a free lunch, student speakers, conversation, an art project and a food drive.

Photo: Martin Luther King Jr. at Memorial Union

Wisconsin Union Directorate Forum Committee member Jim Ehrman with Martin Luther King Jr. after King’s lecture at the Memorial Union on March 30, 1962. Courtesy of Wisconsin Union

“This is a celebration to honor the legacy of Dr. King as a campus, and also an opportunity to build community and bring people together,” says Chika Kusakawa, coordinator of orientation programming at the Center for the First-Year Experience. “We also want to highlight the diversity of what service means and the many different ways students can be part of service in their communities.”

The event will take place on the 2nd floor of Union South in Varsity Hall with doors opening at 2 p.m. for lunch. The program, featuring UW–Madison student speakers sharing their stories of service and their motivation for service, will begin at 2:30. All participants will then be invited to join in conversations around service and its intersection with diversity.

To cap off the celebration, the Wisconsin Union’s Wheelhouse Studios will lead participants in a creative art project centered around peace, justice and nonviolence. No specific artistic skill is required.

“We’re excited to be able to bring in Wheelhouse Studios. I’m always amazed by the social justice projects they help lead,” says Megan Miller, Morgridge Center for Public Service assistant director. “They get people to use their creative side to explore deep topics through art.”

Participants are invited to bring an item to the event to support The Open Seat, a food pantry on campus. They are in greatest need right now of: cereal, oatmeal packets, snack food (granola bars, fruit snacks, fruit cups), baking items, pasta and pasta sauce, shampoo and conditioner, body soap (liquid preferred over bars), hand soap, dish soap, feminine care, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

“We are excited to engage the campus community in service with the donations to Open Seat, and to be able to provide more intentional service opportunities during the event,” says Karla Foster, African American Campus and Community Liaison for Pathways. 

The UW–Madison MLK Day Celebration is a collaboration between the Morgridge Center for Public Service, the Center for the First-Year Experience, the Multicultural Student Center and Pathways to Educational Achievement. Funding for the celebration is generously provided by the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of the Provost and the School of Education.

Also in observance of MLK Day on Monday in Madison:

2017 MLK Youth Day of Service
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
8:30 a.m.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
Wisconsin State Capitol rotunda
Open to the public

32nd Annual Madison & Dane County King Holiday Observance
Overture Center for the Arts
Open to the public
5 p.m.

Tags: diversity, events