Almost every seat was filled in Camp Concert Hall on Monday as students, faculty and members of the Richmond community gathered in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The program, “Living into the Legacy,” started with a video that featured members of the university community reflecting on the importance of King’s legacy.
Dorothy Holland, chairwoman of the department of theatre and dance, then welcomed the audience to the event.
“The vast scope of MLK’s legacy exceeds the ability of one person or even one campus to fully grasp or represent,” Holland said. “Yet it is the very expansiveness of this legacy that offers so many opportunities.”
The Ngoma African Dance Ensemble, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Richmond alumna Farren Billue performed for the audience.
Professors Laura and Salvador Barajas spoke on behalf of their digital archive “The Fight for Knowledge: A Community Archive of Civil Rights and Education in Richmond.”
The audience also heard presentations from Youth Life Foundation of Richmond (YLFR) participants, members of the Richmond Chapter of the Roosevelt Institute and members of SSTOP-Global.
Junior Cassandra Calin’s favorite part of the performance was when the children of YLFR gave personal statements on King, she said. This showed her how children understand the relevance of King and continue to live his legacy, she said.
Senior Brittney Quinones said that she had learned from the program that there were a lot of different ways to interact with the community and carry out King’s legacy.
Glyn Hughes, director of Common Ground, announced that Richmond would extend its commemoration of King’s legacy by establishing MLK Day as a university holiday next year.
“This decision really is great news,” Hughes said. “It will enable all of us to participate more deeply in a wider range of campus and regional activities, including community service in honor of Dr. King’s legacy.”
The university community will continue to honor King’s legacy throughout the week. On Friday, a panel of university and city leaders will discuss what compels them to serve and make a difference in their communities as part of the Center for Civic Engagement’s Brown Bag Series. There will also be a bus trip to the Moton Museum on Sunday.
Contact reporter Brooke Knetzger at email@example.com