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SMC celebrates Martin Luther King’s legacy

| Monday, January 20, 2014

Saint Mary’s will celebrate the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK), during MLK Commemoration and Celebration Week, which will begin Monday with a multidisciplinary performance event. The event was organized by the student organization Sisters of Nefertiti.

Bianca Tirado, assistant director of Student Involvement and Multicultural Service said she feels this celebration recognizes King’s work as the foundation of much of the modern Saint Mary’s community’s strength.

“[King] advocated inclusivity and he advocated for us to be able to be where we are now. I see that MLK was someone ahead of his time … the fact that we can come together and walk together, that is something to me that I cherish because we weren’t able to do that 50 years ago,” Bianca Tirado, assistant director of Student Involvement and Multicultural Service, said.

A little over 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the University of Notre Dame and led the historic March on Washington, Tirado said. She said this anniversary factored into the planning of the week’s events around the theme, “justice.”

“When I was brainstorming about the events to have this year with the Sisters of Nefertiti, we wanted to do something different … I think that the atmosphere is going to be more of a celebration and it will show how much we as a society have moved forward,” Tirado said. “We’re really happy with the events we have going on. And I think they really show a well-rounded view of MLK’s dream, his legacy, and what he was trying to promote through his life.”

A “Kick Off” will jumpstart the week Monday evening, when students will celebrate King’s memory through poetry, music, spoken word and fellowship, junior Laura Early, president of the Sisters of Nefertiti, said.

Early said she is especially excited about “The Loving Story,” a movie that will be shown on Tuesday. The movie follows the true story of the first legally recognized biracial couple and will be followed by a discussion panel, Early said.

“At the movie discussion, I want people to be comfortable,” she said. “Come with questions and come with concerns, come to learn. MLK week is a chance to really learn about and recognize MLK.”

Wednesday’s “March to Mass” will foster an environment of fellowship. Early said the Mass will be centered on justice and will allow her to share her own King experience with the Saint Mary’s community.

“In his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech he [King] said, ‘I have a dream that one day little black girls will be holding hands with little white girls,’” Early said. “And that really signifies what Saint Mary’s does here: We’re here as a family, we don’t see skin deep.

Early said the week will culminate with a formal “Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner” on Thursday, where guests including President Mooney will share in a community celebration of King as well as listen to a guest speaker while enjoying a meal catered by Sodexo.

“I want anyone who attends the events to walk away with a sense of satisfaction. I want them to take away that it’s a celebration of how we have moved forward as a society, and to be aware that change has happened,” Tirado said.

All events are free and open to the public. Information on the locations and times of the week’s events can be found on OrgSync as well as on saintmarys.edu. Please RSVP for the Thursday dinner by emailing btirado@saintmarys.edu.

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About Kathryn Marshall

Kathryn is a current class of 2017 Saint Mary's student. She is a member of the SMC cross country team, and intends to double major with Biology and Humanistic Studies.

Contact Kathryn