Elon to celebrate legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with January events

Service opportunities, gatherings and other special programs at Elon during January will commemorate the life and work of the late civil rights leader.

The Elon University community will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy during January with a variety of events, service opportunities and speakers.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” which draws from a sermon King delivered at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. on March 31, 1968, less than a week before he was assassinated. Read a transcript of the sermon here and listen to a recording here.

This year’s theme asserts three charges King made to the audience during his speech:

  • Developing a World Perspective: We must understand that our liberation is interconnected globally. “We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”
  • The Time to be Antiracist is Now:  We do our best to choose to be anti-racist in every situation. “The hour has come for everybody, for all institutions of the public sector and the private sector to work to get rid of racism. And now if we are to do it we must honestly admit certain things and get rid of certain myths that have constantly been disseminated all over our nation.”
  • Eliminating Poverty: We must understand the intricacies of poverty and work to eliminate the systems that maintain them locally and globally. “We are challenged to rid our nation and the world of poverty. Like a monstrous octopus, poverty spreads its nagging, prehensile tentacles into hamlets and villages all over our world.”

Each event this month provides opportunities to “make the invisible visible” and advance the intersectional understanding of racism, classism, environmental destruction, and other injustices.

Please contact CREDE Assistant Director John Robinson-Miller IV at jrobinsonmiller@elon.edu or (336)-278-7243 with any questions.

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Events at Elon

United Way of Alamance County’s January Food Drive

Through January 15
The Kernodle Center for Civic Life, Moseley 230

The Kernodle Center for Civic Life is supporting the United Way of Alamance County’s January Food Drive. Many local pantries are running low on food. Collect shelf-stable food items then drop off your items outside the Kernodle Center in Moseley 230 between now and next Friday, Jan. 15 by noon.  We will pass them off to the United Way from there, who will distribute to food pantries throughout the county.

Sponsored by The Kernodle Center for Civic Life

Criminal Justice System: Let’s Talk About It

Saturday, January 16
2 to 3:30 p.m. via Zoom (Zoom meeting details to be shared later)

The criminal justice system is rooted in racism and discrimination and over the summer of 2020 a phrase arose that became popular “defund the police”. During this event, we are going to talk about what this phrase entails and how it came about.

Sponsored by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and CREDE

WInterfaith Day 1: Interfaith Panel on the Life and Legacy of MLK

Tuesday, January 19
12:15 to 1:15 p.m. via Zoom

Traditionally, each week of J-term we would host a speaker from a different religious, spiritual, and/or philosophical tradition to give a short explanation of their worldview and gather for a meal.  This year, we are moving the program to a virtual 3-day symposium the week of MLK day. The speakers would be over lunch (12:15-1:15pm) on Tuesday (1/19), Wednesday (1/20), and Thursday (1/21) and on zoom. Tuesday features an interfaith Panel on the Life and Legacy of MLK, Wednesday features a Hindu speaker, and Thursday a Native Saponi speaker will join us. Register for the event here and place your lunch order here.

Sponsored by the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, Elon Community Church, CREDE, Advisory Board for Black Student Spiritual Support

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture: Deena Hayes-Greene

Tuesday, January 19
7 p.m. via Zoom (Zoom meeting details to be shared later)

Deena A. Hayes-Greene is a racial equity consultant, trainer, and community/institutional organizer whose work focuses on the impacts of race and racism on systems, institutions, organizations, and individuals. In her training and consulting she brings examination of the impact of race in systemic outcomes to include the broader environmental and social determinants of well-being and opportunity. She also brings a power analysis that guides institutions and organizations in a change process designed to dismantle racism.

Hayes-Greene is the co-founder and managing director of the Racial Equity Institute LLC, a minority-owned business that brings racial equity training and consultation to communities, organizations, and institutions across the United States.

Sponsored by the Office of Cultural Programs

MLK Service Projects with Habitat for Humanity CANCELLED

January 20, 21 and 22
8 to 11:30 a.m. each day

Join our service project with Habitat for Humanity as part of MLK month activities! Volunteers will contribute with hands-on work serving alongside the Habitat homeowners at this year’s Elon University-sponsored Habitat for Humanity house in Burlington. It is a chance to build a home and build community seeking to live out Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Shifts are 8-11:30am but with provided transportation (via Moseley vans) please plan for 7:30am-12pm. Sign up via Phoenix Serve here.

Sponsored by the Kernodle Center for Civic Life, Elon Volunteers! and Habitat for Humanity

Manifesting MLK

Wednesday, January 20
6 to 8 p.m., McKinnon Hall in Moseley Center (Event details to be shared later)

During this event, a discussion about the meaning of MLK’s I have a dream speech will be had. We will talk about manifesting what want to do with their dreams and how their dreams will affect the Black community as a whole.

Sponsored by the Black Student Union

Documentary Screening – “Cooked: Survival by Zip Code”

Tuesday, January 26
7 to 8 p.m., Turner Theatre and virtual

In “Cooked: Survival By Zip Code,” Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand uses her signature serious-yet-quirky connect-the-dots style to take audiences from the deadly 1995 Chicago heat wave — in which 739 mostly black, elderly, and poor Chicagoans died during the course of one week– deep into one of our nation’s biggest growth industries: disaster preparedness. Along the way, Helfand forges inextricable links between extreme weather, extreme disparity, and extreme racism, daring to ask: what if a zip code was just a routing number and not a life-or-death sentence?

Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability and CREDE

Environmental Justice in Alamance County

Wednesday, January 27

Come learn about intersectional environmental justice in Alamance County. More details to come.

Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability and CREDE