Building a Legacy of Leadership – WCU community’s MLK Jr. celebrations

Poster for WCU’s 2023 MLK Jr. Celebration Week provided by Evelyn Rucker of ICA.

The WCU community commemorates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. annually by having a week full of events designed to build the community. The week is led by Intercultural Affairs with various other campus partners joining.

The MLK Jr. Celebration week is Jan. 16 – 20, and this year’s theme is “Building a Legacy of Leadership.”  The theme was chosen by the MLK Celebration Committee which consists of several campus departments. The committee believes leadership was a key principle MLK Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, modeled for the nation.

The celebration week will kick off with a unity march across campus on Monday and end with showings of “Till,” a movie following the violent lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955. Poster making for the march will be in the University Center Multipurpose Room at 10 a.m. with the march meeting at the fountain at 11. The movie, which is free to students, will be playing at 6 and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the University Center Theater.

The week is a collaboration across various partners, including Intercultural Affairs, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Jackson County NAACP, Global Black Studies, Center for Career and Professional Development, and Student Government Association.

The week will feature presentations on the Civil Rights Movement and a Latinx civil rights exploration, keynote addresses by speaker Lisa Blackmon, and various workshops and narratives. There will also be service opportunities headed by the Jackson County NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. For a full list of events, visit WCU’s MLK page.

The keynote speaker is Lisa Blackmon Esq., also called Lisa B ‘The Lifechanger’. Lisa B will be giving a workshop titled “Who Do Men Say I Am?”, which focuses on how you want to be perceived in the world regardless of others’ expectations, and an address called “Courage to Own Your Greatness.”