“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Belmont University’s annual MLK Week programming is set to begin this Friday and will hold a wide array of special events to commemorate the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, January 18. With the quote above exemplifying the importance of community service and resonating beautifully with the mission of Belmont University, the university is again partnering with universities throughout the Nashville community for the 10th annual MLK Day of Service.
This year’s theme is ‘A Call for Unity: Preserving the Dream.’ The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program was established in January of 1997 at Belmont University as a celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each of the commemorative events is open to the Belmont community and to the public and all are welcome and invited to attend. Events each year include a candlelight vigil in commemoration of the Civil Rights Movement, a chapel service, and a campus dialogue on diversity, race and ethnicity.
The week’s kickoff event is scheduled for Friday, January 17 with a celebration breakfast from 7:30–9:00 am with keynote speaker Dr. Kevin Rome, president of Fisk University.
Following the breakfast will be a chapel service called ‘What Should Dr. King’s Dream Look Like Today?’ at 10 am in the Janet Ayers Academic Center Chapel with Rev. John Faison of Watson Grove Baptist Church.
The 10th annual day of service will include projects addressing food security, community beautification and other community needs. A number of local organizations will serve as volunteer sites including Alex Green Elementary School, Adventure Science Center, Project Transformation, Sexual Assault Center and The Nashville Food Project, among others. The day will begin at 10 am and conclude after a reflection at 4:30 pm. More than 400 volunteers from Belmont, Fisk, Lipscomb, Meharry, Nashville State, Tennessee State University, Trevecca and Vanderbilt as well as other area colleges and universities are expected to participate to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King.
The following events are free and open to both the Belmont community and the general public.
Monday, January 20: MLK National Observance
MLK from a child’s perspective will be held on the 4th floor of the Inman Building in the Frist Lecture Hall at 6 pm. The event will include an art and essay exhibit featuring the work of local school age children. A candlelight vigil sponsored by BSA will be held on the 4th floor of the Inman Building in the Frist Lecture Hall at 7 pm.
Tuesday, January 21
Campus meet-ups will take place throughout the day in the Beaman Lobby, Janet Ayers Academic Center and Massey School of Business to discuss perspectives on topics related to this years’ MLK theme.
Wednesday, January 22
A chapel service titled, ‘Who is MLK?’ will take place in the Janet Ayers Academic Center Chapel at 10 am. A worship service for MLK sponsored by BSA will take place in the Janet Ayers Academic Center Chapel at 6 pm.
Thursday, January 23
A showing of the Aretha Franklin movie, Amazing Grace and a following discussion will be held in the Johnson Center Theater at 6 pm.
Friday, January 24
A chapel surrounding the topics of legal aid and civil rights will take place in the Janet Ayers Academic Center Chapel at 10 am.