St. Bonaventure University will honor the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a number of events slated for the week of Jan. 15.
The theme is “MLK50 Onward: We Win with Love.” April 4 marks the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.
“I encourage everyone to not only attend the events, but to engage and participate in the larger conversation about the ways we can we build a more inclusive and loving community and the direct link between Dr. King’s vision and Franciscan values,” said Dr. Dennis DePerro, university president.
Spring semester classes at St. Bonaventure begin Tuesday, Jan. 16, so members of the university community are encouraged to spend MLK Day, Jan. 15, doing some form of community service.
“This year, which marks the 50th year of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we’ve decided as a community to honor the life and legacy of the civil rights hero throughout the entire semester. The programs that we’ll offer this week and beyond will speak to the depth and truth of the Dr. King’s legacy,” said Parker Suddeth, coordinator of the Damietta Center for Multicultural Student Affairs.
Students are invited to head to the Damietta Center in suite 208 of the Reilly Center at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, for MLK Trivia. Trivia will exclusively be about the life of Martin Luther King. Prizes will be given to those who are knowledgeable about the life and legacy of the civil rights icon.
At 5 p.m. on Jan. 16 in the University Chapel, Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M., executive director of University Ministries, will deliver a message on seeking love in an unjust climate. After the message, guests are invited to gather in the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry for hot chocolate and cookies.
The Black Student Union will host a viewing of “The Long Walk Home” (1990) at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, in the McGinley-Carney Center. A discussion will follow. The film is a re-creation of a troubled era in American history. Odessa Carter (Whoopi Goldberg) needs to get to work as a nanny in the home of the affluent Miriam Tompson (Sissy Spacek), but she refuses to take the bus. Odessa is participating in the Montgomery bus boycott, protesting against the inequality between blacks and whites, so Miriam decides to offer Odessa a ride to work every day.
Dr. Donika Kelly, assistant professor of English, will be facilitating a teach-in on the impact of poetry in the civil rights movement as a way to foster love and build community. The program will begin at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, in the McGinley-Carney Center.
As part of a weeklong service project, the Damietta Center will hold a cleaning supply drive for the Warming House, a student-run soup kitchen. Paper products needed include napkins, paper towels, toilet paper and large coffee filters. Cleaning supplies that are sought include hand soap refills, floor cleaner, air freshener, disinfectant spray, sponges and Lysol. Products can be dropped of at the Damietta Center.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
St. Bonaventure has chosen the nonfiction book “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson as its common read for 2015-2016. This All Bonaventure Reads selection explores the inequity embedded in the U.S. criminal justice system.
“Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” was released in October and focuses mainly on the work of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., a legal practice Stevenson founded as a young lawyer that is dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need.
One of Stevenson’s first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. It transformed the lawyer’s understanding of mercy and justice forever and illustrates numerous ongoing challenges in work advocating for social justice.
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7 p.m. | Monday, Oct. 26
Address by: Anthony Ray Hinton (above, right), an exonerated death row inmate, and Charlotte Morrison, senior attorney with the Equal Justice Initiative
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