Nashville celebrates MLK Day 2016

Rev James Tex Thomas

Rev James Tex Thomas

Initiated by Congress in 1994, the King Day of Service transforms the federal holiday into a national day of community service grounded in Dr. King’s teachings of nonviolence and social justice. The holiday is a day ON, where people of all ages and backgrounds improve lives, bridge social barriers, and move our nation closer to the “Beloved Community” that Dr. King envisioned.

On Monday, January 18, 2016, beginning at 8:30am at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church, under the title, “Unity Not Uniformity,” The Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship and the Nashville Community invite you to Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Morning Youth Rally at 8:30 am @ Jefferson Street Baptist Church begins the day.
A Job Fair from 9am – 2pm @ TSU Gentry Center follows, which precedes the rallying point for the March at 10:00 am @ Jefferson Street Baptist Church. The march will proceed west on Jefferson Street and John Merritt Blvd to the TSU Gentry Center. The annual MLK Convocation begins at 11:00 am @ TSU Gentry Center.

The legendary Rev. James “Tex” Thomas is keynote speaker for the convocation. This is his final year in ministry, come on out and hear from him. His presentation, entitled “The Day without a King” will be based on Judges 21:25.

On Saturday, January 16, a Youth Forum will be held at 9:00 am @ the Downtown Nashville Public Library. The MLK Day March and Convocation have been organized by the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship for decades, following the initial event coordinated by the TSU Student Government Association in 1981, which featured TSU President Emeritus Dr. Frederick S. Humphries as the keynote speaker.

Vanderbilt University Commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bryan Stevenson and Rev. James Lawson

Bryan Stevenson and Rev. James Lawson

On Friday, January 15th, Vanderbilt’s MLK Kickoff featuring Becca Stevens and Marcus Hummon is at 12:00 Noon in Benton Chapel. It will be immediately followed by the MLK Kickoff Reception at 1:00 p.m. in the VU Bishop Johnson Black Cultural Center. That evening the Chancellor’s Lecture Series address by Bryan Stevenson, entitled “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” runs from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in VU’s Langford Auditorium, following a Reception and Book Signing from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Langford Auditorium Lobby.

MLK Weekend of Action runs from Friday-Sunday, January 15-17. On Monday, January 18th at 10:00 a.m., much of the Vanderbilt community will join the Nashville Freedom March. For others, from 11:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., the Nashville Freedom Ride will be leaving from Branscomb Circle as Nashville Freedom Rider Kwame Lillard will conduct a tour of significant sites in the civil rights movement in Nashville.

At 11:30 a.m., an MLK Lunchtime Symposium in the Student Life Center Board of Trust Room will address the topic “Colorblindness Was Not the Dream: MLK, Black Lives Matter and the Struggle for Racial Equity” led by Tim Wise.

Also on Monday: 12:00 p.m. “Rising Above the Scars: My Journey to Overcoming Adversity and how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s Teachings Mirror my Journey” by Dr. Rita K. Adeniran, in Room 208 of Light Hall. Afternoon Teach-Ins run from 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 – 4:00 p.m. From 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Reflections on Service and Social Justice in OACS Lounge (305 Sarratt/Rand), by those who dedicated time to service over the weekend. From 4:10 – 5:10 p.m., A Promise to Keep: Educating Our Highest Risk Students will be presented by Dr. Julie A. Washington in Room 241, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.

The MLK Keynote Address by Rev. James Lawson is Monday at 7:00 p.m. in Langford Auditorium, preceded by a Candlelight Vigil at 6:30 p.m.

Later in the week, on Wednesday, January 20th at 12:05 PM, “The System is Working the Way It’s Supposed To: The Limits of Criminal Justice Reform” will be the topic for a presentation by Professor Paul D. Butler, in Vanderbilt Law School.

For a complete listing of sponsors as well as speaker bios and other information please go to the website: www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk.

Belmont University commemorates MLK

Tim Wise

Tim Wise

At Belmont University the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program was established in January of 1997 for the observance of Dr. King’s birthday. These events are open to the Belmont community and to the public, and all are welcome and invited to attend.

Saturday, Jan. 16 | Day of Service | 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Helping to alleviate hunger in Middle TN, around the nation and throughout the world through donating and sorting food at Second Harvest and other area food banks, and other projects serving veterans in our community.

Monday, Jan. 18 | Candlelight Vigil | 7 p.m. • Beaman Student Life Center Lobby
Procession across campus, contemplating different facets of the movement, highlighting various Civil Rights Leaders, and honoring the man who became a central organizing symbol for it.

Tuesday, Jan. 19 | Keynote Address by Tim Wise | 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. • McAfee Concert Hall – “Colorblindness Was Not the Dream: MLK, Black Lives Matter and the Struggle for Racial Equity”
One of the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States, Wise has spoken in all 50 states, on over 800 college and high school campuses, and to community groups across the nation. Author of seven books, including his latest, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America (City Lights Books) and his highly acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son has provided anti-racism training to teachers, physicians, medical industry professionals, as well as corporate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials.

Wednesday, Jan. 20 | Chapel Speaker: Dr. John Perkins | 10 a.m. • Chapel
“Race Matters”- Civil rights activist and internationally known author, speaker, and teacher on issues of racial reconciliation and Christian community development.

MLK Worship Service with the Black Students’ Association | 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. • Chapel

Thursday, January 21 | Campus Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity | 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. • Massey Boardroom (Massey – 4th floor) – An open and frank discussion of how different people experience race and ethnicity, conducted in a spirit of reconciliation rather than judgment or condemnation.

Friday, Jan. 22 | Academic Panel | 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. • Chapel
“In the Beginning: A Discussion on the Early Years of Belmont Women’s Basketball”
Betty Wiseman, founder of the Belmont women’s basketball program, and some members of the first women’s basketball team talk about the early years of the program, including the impact of the racial climate of the 1960s.

Monday, Jan. 25 | Selma Screening | 6 p.m. • Johnson Theatre – “Selma” (2014) directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb, starring David Oyelowo as King, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, and Common as James Bevel, based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights, a battleground for the Voting Rights Movement. After the screening, Dr. Pete Kuryla of the History Department will lead a discussion.

Fisk University and Meharry Medical College celebrate MLK

Fisk University scheduled its 34th Annual Convocation in Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for 10:00 am on Thursday, Jan. 14 in Fisk Memorial Chapel. The event program (at press time) called for keynote speaker Rev. Edwin C. Sanders II, Senior Servant (Pastor) and Founder of Metropolitan Interdenominational Church (established 1981), former Dean of the Chapel at Fisk. He was to be introduced by Mr. Fisk Onajh K. Porter. SGA President Brianna Herman would be presiding, with the Invocation given by Dr. Jason R. Curry, Dean of the Chapel; with the Welcome by SGA Vice-President Lamar Allen, and the Relevance of the Occasion given by Miss Fisk Bella Umontuen.

Meharry Medical College scheduled its annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Ceremony for 11:00 am on Friday, Jan. 15 in West Basic Sciences Center. The Master of Ceremonies to be Mr. Meharry Chavez Scott, with the Invocation by MMC Chaplain Rev. Robin Kimbrough, JD, MDiv; and Miss Meharry Marleesa Bastian was to introduce Speaker Atty Joy S. Kimbrough.