Penn State Behrend to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

Events pay tribute to King’s legacy and accomplishments 

Penn State Behrend will honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a week of events and activities beginning Monday, Jan. 16.

The programs begin at noon Monday in the McGarvey Commons of the Reed Union Building with a student presentation of the play “Montgomery Footprints.” The one-act drama depicts the Rosa Parks incident that led to the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. A campus family brunch will precede “Montgomery Footprints,” beginning at 11 a.m.

The following events, all free and open to the public, will also be held throughout the week:

Monday, Jan. 16:             Annual ABC March. Students, faculty members and staff are encouraged to join the Association of Black Collegians for a march around campus to honor King’s legacy. A casual discussion to reflect on Dr. King’s ideals in relation to personal experiences will follow the march. Hot chocolate, doughnuts, and cookies will be served.

                                           2 p.m., McGarvey Commons 

Tuesday, Jan. 17:             Canvas of Words poetry slam. Student artists express themselves in a judgment-free zone as they share their personal stories and testimonies to encourage and empower others.  The event is organized and sponsored by the Organization of African and Caribbean Students (OACS) and Behrend’s Chapter of the NAACP.

                                           6 p.m., McGarvey Commons 

Wednesday, Jan. 18:        The Power of Allyship. This program is designed to provide insight into the various ways we can be an ally for others, and why it is important, when we have the benefit of privilege, to use it effectively. Participants will learn what it means to be an ally, how to leverage privilege to be an effective advocate and gain skills that help foster an inclusive environment. Participants will also practice skills necessary when engaged in allied or advocacy positions, and develop useful language for responding to harmful situations.

                                           11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., McGarvey Commons (Lunch provided) 

Thursday, Jan. 19:           The KINGdoms concert. This band, consisting of Behrend students, will perform songs of the Civil Rights era and other tunes.

                                           7:30 p.m., Bruno’s Café 

Friday, Jan. 20:                Film screening: “Birth of a Nation.” Follows the story of Nat Turner, an enslaved Baptist preacher who lives on a Virginia plantation. Nat witnesses the horrific treatment of his fellow man and realizes that he can no longer just stand by and preach. His quest for justice and freedom leads to a violent and historic rebellion in Southampton County.

                                           10 p.m., Reed Auditorium

(The film will be shown again at 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21.) 

Penn State Behrend’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration is sponsored by the Office of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs and the Student Activity Fee. For more information, call 898-7101 or email

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