A variety of events are planned for Jan. 15-17, as Ferris State University welcomes students, faculty, staff and Big Rapids community members to join in the 32nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration on campus. Office of Multicultural Student Services Assistant Director Michael Wade said the programming allows participants to reflect on the legacy of one of history’s most influential civil rights leaders.
“On Tuesday evening, Jan. 16, we will present ‘I Was Here in ’68,’ a discussion set for 6 to 7:30 p.m., in Room 203 of the University Center,” Wade said. “Former Board of Trustees Chair Ron Snead will offer his perspective on what was happening on our campus during the spring of that year. His oral history will provide an opportunity to learn about the impact of that very important moment for Ferris students of all backgrounds and experiences.”
Wade noted the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services has collaborated with the OMSS to promote area community where students can volunteer on the Martin Luther King holiday, Monday, Jan. 15.
“MLK Day is recognized as a national Day of community service, and we feel it is important for our students to volunteer as part of the celebration,” Wade said. “Students can visit CLACS or the MLK website for more information on how to RSVP with the particular volunteer site that interests them.”
Faculty and staff members will be welcomed for the 24th annual in-service program, which is set for Room 202B of the University Center, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Jan. 15.
Wade said students, faculty, staff and greater Big Rapids-area community members are invited to participate in the Freedom March the afternoon of Jan. 15, a part of every Ferris Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.
“We will meet in the Rankin Atrium, of the University Center, at 4 p.m.,” Wade said. “There will be some reflections offered by Ferris administrators at that time, then we will set off on the march, which crosses the campus, before returning to the University Center. We are excited to have the campus community walk in tribute to Dr. King’s legacy.”
The annual Student Tribute, providing individuals and registered student organizations the opportunity to make presentations on the MLK holiday, has been set for 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15. This event, and all others on the celebration schedule, is free and open to the public.
Wade said “MLK, In His Own Words,” a room of reflection will be found in UBC Room 112, in addition to the Tunnel of Oppression, available in University Center, Room 116, will be open on Tuesday, Jan. 16 and Wednesday, Jan. 17 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Tunnel of Oppression is the featured exhibit for the celebration.
Celebration activities conclude on Wednesday evening, Jan. 17, with a presentation from activist, poet and speaker Monti Washington. The event is being offered in collaboration with Entertainment Unlimited, the university’s campus programming board. Wade said the event is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.
“‘Which Lives Matter?’ is Monti’s theme,” Wade said. “Our committee felt he offered some important insights and a timely portrait of how things are at this time. We hope the audience can take in his message and then seek to make a difference, both on campus and in the greater community.”
The MLK Celebration website offers complete details on the event schedule. OMSS asks that those seeking assistance
to attend any celebration event contact their office by email, or by calling (231) 591-2617 at least 72 hours prior to the particular session.
The MLK Celebration is sponsored by the Diversity and Inclusion Office, the Office
of Housing and Residential Life Harmony Project and Entertainment Unlimited.
PHOTO CAPTION: Freedom March participants head out from the University Center, a few years back, as part of Ferris State University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The 2018 schedule of MLK Celebration events runs from Monday, Jan. 15 through Wednesday, Jan. 17.