To honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Colgate University is hosting a series of events on Monday, Jan. 19. The campus-wide activities will feature readings of King's speeches and writings, discussions, workshops, and music.
At 7 p.m. in Colgate's Memorial Chapel, nationally renowned and award-winning artists Joe Hernandez-Kolski, Beau Sia, and Saul Williams will cap off the day's events with a spoken-word performance, a mix of poetic words, music, and hip-hop.
Prior to the performance, there will be a keynote address delivered by Rebecca Chopp, president; Charlotte Johnson, vice president and dean of the college; and Keenan Grenell, vice president and dean of diversity.
"This year's commemoration is especially poignant as it is taking place on the eve of a powerfully historic event: the inauguration of the nation's first African-American president," noted Associate Dean for Diversity and Director of the Office of Undergraduate Studies Jaime Nolan, an organizer of the celebration.
The events also serve as an opportunity for Hamilton area children to learn more about King's fight for racial equality.
For the past five years Colgate has sponsored a Martin Luther King Jr. Day essay contest for sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders from Hamilton Central Schools.
This year, previous winners have been invited to write a poem to be read at the evening event. The selected Hamilton students have teamed up with the university's Poetically Minded group to deliver their poems as spoken-word pieces.
"By taking the time to participate in this way, we create a pause, a moment from which to consider whether or not we are contributing to 'the dream,'" added Nolan.
All activities are free and open to the public.
Here are other events planned for Monday, Jan. 19:
Noon, Memorial Chapel: "Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. through the Arts as Activism." Student-led celebration with readings from King's speeches and writings by students.