To honor Martin Luther King Jr., the Office for Equity and Diversity will host a week of events surrounding the influence he continues to have on society.
On Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, U students will have the opportunity to listen to figures who have experienced and fought various types of oppression. They can then raise their own voices in a rally and a day of service.
The theme of the annual celebration is “Activism – Now it’s Our Turn.” It is a call to action amidst racial unrest on campus and nationwide.
On Monday, students and faculty will rally at East High School to march to Kingsbury Hall. Samah Safiullah, a sophomore in urban ecology, has attended the event in past years and said the rally is important because it teaches students how to organize.
“Even though they have different interests, students are coming together for one purpose,” Safiullah said.
Rapper Talib Kweli is the keynote speaker and will precede his speech with a 10-minute performance, said Kiman Kaur, a student on the planning committee.
Additionally, award-winning writer, activist and the founder of the website Black Girl Dangerous, Mia McKenzie, will hold a Q&A on social media activism and her novel, “The Summer We Got Free”.
On Wednesday, U students will join a local group of writers, storytellers and poets called “Truth Cypher” to relate the issues they have experienced in the face of oppression.
On Friday, the Hinckley Politics and Pizza will host a panel, “Standing in Solidarity,” to discuss intersectionality between demographics and local and global social movements.
The week will finish with a day of service for students to apply what they’ve learned and give back to the community. Students and faculty must register through the Bennion Center to participate.
A detailed schedule can be found online at http://diversity.utah.edu/annual-events/mlk-2016/.