College students during the Civil Rights Era knew that there needed to be a change in American views and values and looked toward Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the catalyst for that change.
The Multicultural Student Center honors King each year by hosting the MLK Jr. Commemoration, which features a speaker whose work has made an impact on social justice issues, but now the office is looking to expand the program.
“My vision for the office is to have programming throughout the week or two weeks (of MLK Jr. Day). I would like to have programming where we’re getting all students involved in service projects that are directly addressing or making an impact on some of those social justice issues,” Dorsey Baldwin, director of the Multicultural Student Center, said.
Baldwin hopes to partner with organizations on campus to make students more aware of the great work of King.
“There could be a potential partnership with our student leadership and civic engagement, some academic departments where we’re working together to do service projects centered around Dr. King and his legacy,” Baldwin said.
Many students on campus and around the country oftentimes just see MLK Day as a day off from classes and an opportunity to sleep in, but it’s important to continue the work that King started, Baldwin said.
“A lot of students feel like it is a day off but it really should be a day on,” Baldwin said.
By adding programs and activities on campus the week of MLK Day, students can make their own impact on social justice issues.
“There are still many issues that are affecting not only our Statesboro community but many of the communities where our students are from. Oftentimes it’s easy for our current generation, young and old, to think that we’ve come so far so there’s really not much to do, but there’s still many issues in education, healthcare, social-economic status that we can address,” Baldwin said.
It’s important that we continue the precedent of change starting with our young people, Baldwin said.
Presently, the MSC sponsors a speaker to speak on campus every year around Martin Luther King Day. This year, CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien will be visiting campus as the featured speaker.
O’Brien will be speaking at Hanner Fieldhouse on Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m.
Students, faculty, and staff can pick up tickets in the Multicultural Student Center from Jan. 22 and Jan. 25., between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Statesboro community members can pick up tickets in Hanner Fieldhouse ticket office or at city campus on Jan. 24 and 25 between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The Multicultural Student Center is looking for questions from students to ask Soledad O’Brien during her presentation.
Students that use Twitter can direct their questions to @GSU_MSC using the hashtag “#askSoledad.” Students may also e-mail their questions to MSC@georgiasouthern.edu with the subject line of “#askSoledad.”
The MSC will then choose the top five or six questions from the ones received and will invite those students to the event to personally ask Soledad his/her question during her presentation.