The University of Richmond community will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at 2 p.m. tomorrow with a campus-wide gathering at Camp Concert Hall.
The day honors the Nobel Prize-winning civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will follow an altered class schedule in order to have the option to attend the commemoration.
Students, student groups and fraternities and sororities will deliver presentations during the commemoration.
Junior Adowa Asante, a member of the Ngoma African Dance Company, said tomorrow her group would perform a celebratory and ritual dance called “Lamban.”
Asante said the dance company was celebrating an important figure who brought civil rights for African-Americans.
Asante, who is from Ghana, said that while she didn’t feel as impacted by MLK as Americans, she was appreciative of all the work he had done, particularly in creating the path to allow her to attend Richmond and get an education.
Junior Antoine Waul, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and the university’s planning committee for the commemoration said his fraternity would present a video at the commemoration and would talk about their fraternity’s role in fulfilling MLK’s dream.
“I feel like everyone kind of stands on the shoulders of giants,” he said. “We would not have come as far as we have as a society, had it not been for everyone.”
Waul said he felt the fraternity had continued King’s dream by educating the community, helping the youth and ensuring that there was no injustice or inequality anywhere.
Some students may not participate in tomorrow’s commemoration, such as junior Lakita Eason who instead will protest.
“Tomorrow I am going to walk out of class around 3 p.m., if I have class, and go to the forum,” Eason said. Eason said she and other students would protest the university’s refusal to acknowledge MLK Day as a national holiday on campus.
She said during the gathering students would talk about their sentiments of Martin Luther King Day, and discuss their feelings of diversity on campus in general.
“I do understand my university has made great strides in their efforts toward diversity,” Eason said, “but I also feel like it just scratches the surface, and they’re complacent with that.”
Campus programs will be held throughout the week in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., including a brown bag discussion and a lecture by historian Barbara Ransby. Read more about Martin Luther King, Jr. activities at the university’s website.
The adjusted class schedule is as follows, according to the university website:
Normal Class Timeslot | Adjusted Class Timeslot
12–12:50/1:15 | 12–12:50
1:30–2:20/2:45 | 1–1:50
3–3:50/4:15 | 3:55–4:45
4:30–5:20/5:45 | 4:55–5:45
Contact staff writer Keon Monroe at firstname.lastname@example.org.