Diverse MLK celebrations span week

Will Caverly

The University will celebrate the life and work of the late Martin Luther King Jr. this Monday and throughout the rest of the week. Monday marks the national holiday in honor of the African-American civil rights advocate and this is the second year that the University has observed the date with a recess from classes.

Senior Sean Pearson sees the holiday as a “great way to honor him. The work he did for civil rights was monumental for this country to progress.”

The celebration will begin on Monday with a lobbying workshop and conclude with Thursday’s Freedom School sessions.

The Center for Peace and Justice began the Freedom School sessions in the early ’90s and has incorporated a diverse range of speakers for the lecture series. This year’s sessions include a lecture on the “Definition of Terrorism” from philosophy professor Joseph Betz and an examination of “The Freedom Fighters of Jazz” by Core Humanities professor Timothy Horner.

Senior Sarah Banas said that the quality of the Freedom School sessions has improved each year. “The speakers are not always those you would expect,” she said, stating that professors from every department give lectures.

According to Peace and Justice director William Werpehowski, “The response is one that seeks education of Dr. King’s legacy today.”

The students also have the opportunities to prepare food for Aid for Friends and travel to Washington D.C., for a day of lobbying as a part of the week’s activities.

Wepehowski also emphasized the University’s recent adoption of the national holiday. “It is the life and legacy of one of the most important peacemakers and advocates of social justice,” he said.

The specific times and locations of the 23 Freedom School lectures are available on the University Web site.