USF will celebrate the accomplishments of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. this week with its 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.
To kick off the week, Dr. Maya Angelou will be speaking at the Sun Dome at 7 p.m. tonight. The lecture will be free to all students with USF ID cards. Much like King, Angelou advocates a life of love and peace.
On Tuesday, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) will open MLK week with the Watoto Children’s Choir, who will be performing later that day at 2 p.m. The children are part of the Watoto Child Care Ministries, an organization providing support to Ugandan children who lost their parents to AIDS or to civil war.
“We want people to know it’s not an ethnic celebration, it’s a holiday for all Americans,” said Samuel Lamar Wright, an instructor of Africana studies and director of the OMA.
Alpha Phi Alpha will hold a candlelight vigil Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the MLK Plaza. The fraternity will also invite Rev. William Leonard to speak in commemoration of the event.
“We’ve been holding vigils honoring his contributions since 1972,” said Alpha Phi Alpha member Mark Clennon. King joined the fraternity in 1952, and Alpha Phi Alpha has hosted candlelight vigils to remember him ever since.
There will be a Prejudice Reduction workshop Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Marshall Center in room 296.
“The purpose of this workshop is to get people together to deal with issues in a non-threatening way,” Wright said. “We want people to come away feeling fulfilled and enlightened.”
MZuri, a theatrical group, will be dramatizing the life of voting-rights and civil-rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer Friday. Hamer was instrumental in helping minorities get the right to be a part of the political process.
MZuri will be performing a characterization of Hamer to encourage students to vote in the upcoming election. This lecture is part of the Bulls Eye View program, and will take place at noon in the Marshall Center in room 296.
“Students need to remember to have a part of the political process. They have an obligation to participate,” Wright said.
The Stampede of Service Saturday at 8 a.m. will also be held in the MLK plaza. Students from numerous organizations will be participating and sending out a charitable message.
“The Black Student Union will be participating in SOS to honor what King has done to promote unity and diversity,” said Morgan Byron, a member of the Black Student Union.
The theme chosen for this year’s MLK week is: “Remember! Celebrate! Act! A day on, not a day off,” in keeping with the activism-oriented activities.
“We’re all a part of this enterprise.” Wright said. “We need to realize we are much more similar than we are different.”