By: Sean McMahon ~Staff Writer~
28 Xavier students joined hundreds of Cincinnati locals in the Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition’s 39th annual Commemorative March to kickoff Xavier’s Martin Luther King Jr. Week.
This week the Multicultural, Gender, and Women’s Center is sponsoring events commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message and life.
Hundreds of Cincinnatians met outside the Freedom Center to listen to several community leaders share their thoughts about King, including Xavier’s Rabbi Abie Ingber and Waleed El-Ansary of the theology department.
“We bring students here so they can get a feel for what it was like back then, during the Civil Rights Movement,” Joya Dillard, the program coordinator for the Multicultural, Gender, and Women’s Center, said.
The march did embrace the atmosphere of the famous marches of the 1960s. People held signs reading “PEACE” and “MLK DAY,” but there were also protestors against the street car and supports of Judge Tracie Hunter chanting, “No justice. No peace.”
The theme of this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Week is, “Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about thing that matter,” a quotation from King himself.
“When we came up with the theme, we wanted social justice to be the focal point of the week,” Dillard said.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is held on the third Monday of January. It was first observed as a federal holiday after being signed into law by former President Ronald Reagan in 1983. However, the holiday was not officially observed in all 50 states until 2000, as some states initially combined it with other observances.
King is honored for an entire week at Xavier, giving students the chance to attend a variety of programs and events.
On Jan. 22, there is a FRHOzen Treats Fundraiser at 3 p.m. on the first floor of Gallagher. Proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will present “Look in the Mirror: Discussions on Ethnicity and Colorism” at 7:08 p.m. on Jan. 23 in the Clock Tower Lounge.
The week closes on Jan. 25, with the Black Student Association’s Hoop for Dreams Basketball Tournament from 2 to 7 p.m in the O’Connor Sports Center.
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