With a holiday so soon after winter break, students may overlook the true meaning behind Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year, students, organizations and faculty of USF have scheduled two weeks of activities in honor of the civil rights leader.
“Student organizations have worked really hard to make this a success,” said Nicole Glenn, coordinator of Multicultural Activities, who is sponsoring many of next week’s events.
Monday’s kickoff with food, drinks and speakers set the tone for the two-week long schedule of events. Today at 11 there will be an MLK street festival on the Phyllis P. Marshall Center patio sponsored by Caribbean Culture Exchange. At 7 p.m., Soul2Salsa — sponsored by Lambda Theta Alpha — will take place in the Marshall Center. Wednesday night at 8 p.m. there will be an MLK Freedom Celebration in the MC Ballroom, sponsored by the Latin American Student Association. A candlelight vigil sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha will be held on Jan. 18 in the MC Ballroom at 7
“Bear in mind that it takes a world to make a difference,” said Clara Cobb of the Institute on Black Life, who is also a member of the MLK committee. King was not the only one who fought for the struggle. It is going to take all, not just one,”
The MC patio will also play host to MLK beautification projects organized by Volunteer USF on Saturday morning at 8:30. Participants will be divided into groups to clean up, said Stephanie Valery of Volunteer USF.
“This is a great opportunity for students to get out there and help our community,” she said.
“This will get students pumped up,” said Cobb.
The convocation of MLK festivities will be with coach Ken Carter which will take place next week. Originally scheduled for Thursday, Carter will speak on Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Special Events Center. The biopic Coach Carter, starring Samuel L. Jackson and based on Carter’s career, will be in theaters starting Friday.
The event concludes Jan. 21 at 11 a.m. with “A Change for Non-Violence” at MLK Plaza, provided by student organization Club Creole.
Calendars of events are available at the Marshall Center or by visiting www.ctr.usf.edu/multicultural .
Other MLK events happening around Tampa:
Jan 9-17, Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival,www.tampablackheritage.org
Jan 16, Street Festival sponsored by Tampa Bay Black Heritage, at Fowler Ave. and 30th Street.
Jan 17, City of Tampa MLK Parade. 12 p.m. at Howard Blake High School.