MLK events draw crowd, remind students of legacy

He had a dream, and more than 50 years after the legendary speech, the United States continues to remember a man whose legacy is so enduring, he is one of only three individuals with a national holiday named in his honor.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day will fall on Monday, Jan. 20, and Eastern Michigan University students and faculty have been celebrating throughout the weekend with a series of events. These events included the annual H2E student talent show and scholarship competition, held on Friday, and The Color of Drums, a spoken word tribute brought together by the EMU Poetry Society.

The series of MLK Day celebrations and volunteer events will culminate with a keynote presentation in the Student Center Auditorium at 10 a.m.

The guest speaker will be social activist Geoffrey Canada, CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone, an organization that aims to increase graduation rates among youth growing up in Harlem. Following the speech at 11:45 a.m., the President’s Luncheon will begin in the Student Center Ballroom.

Keith Jason, the Coordinator of Student Services for the College of Technology and one of the chairs of the MLK Celebration Committee, said that attendance of the MLK events has been stable through the years, and this year seems to show no sign of losing momentum.

“Last year the keynote was at capacity and had an overflow room set up with an additional 50 people watching on closed circuit TV,” Jason said. “We are anticipating greater need for overflow space this year and have planned accordingly.”

Jason also said that the luncheon has been sold out as of Saturday.

“It’s part of my culture. I want to go because I’m interested in it,” freshman social work major Elesha Hunter said.

“I might come because I get class credit for it,” Laura Bohn, a junior special education major, said, referring to her early literacy course.

Shweta Chauhan, a graduate student studying finance, came to the U.S. from Delhi, India. She had never heard of King, but said that she was curious in learning more about him.

“I would like to attend,” Chauhan said.

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