Students MLK Day
Members of Whitman's Black Student Union lead the annual candlelight peace march from campus to downtown Walla Walla on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. From left: Mcebo Maziya '15, Alisha Agard '15, Bao-Tram Do '13, Charlotte Mugisha '16 and Gladys Gitau '16. Photos courtesy of Ashley Hansack '15.

VIDEO: "Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Legacy"

Candlelight Vigil
Whitman students gather downtown on Monday, Jan. 21 to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement.

Whitman is commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year with a week of activities aimed at engaging the campus and community. Events range from a public lecture by Rebecca Walker, acclaimed author and daughter of Alice Walker, to a performance by Seattle hip-hop artist International Mo B.

The community education program Whitman Teaches the Movement will also return for its second year this January, with Whitman students traveling to Walla Walla public schools to teach custom-designed lessons on the Civil Rights Movement. 

The full schedule of events for the week of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2013 is as follows:

Jan. 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Candlelight Vigil and Peace March/National Day of Service

MLK march
Alisha Agard '15, president of the Black Student Union and an intern at Whitman's Intercultural Center, helped organize the march.

2:00 p.m. – Blue Mountain Action Council AmeriCorps partners with Whitman and the Walla Walla Fire Department to host a fire safety and prevention expo in Reid Campus Center's Young Ballroom. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service, calling on Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The expo and associated campaign strives to aid neighborhoods with high incidences of residential fires or at-risk populations. 

4:00 p.m. – Meet in Reid Campus Center foyer for a candlelight peace march in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The march departs from Reid and continues downtown, where a brief ceremony will be held before returning to campus for a post-march reception in Coffeehouse. Warm beverages and refreshments will be provided.

Jan. 22: What Does It Mean To Teach Civil Rights in Walla Walla in 2013?

7:00 p.m. – Whitman Professors Lisa Uddin, Catherine Veninga and Erin Pahlke explore the implications of this question for Whitman Teaches the Movement through the lens of their areas of research at a faculty panel in Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom B.

Jan. 23: The Legacy of Dr. King, A Conversation With Rebecca Walker

Rebecca Walker
Rebecca Walker

7:00 p.m. – Writer, feminist and intellectual Rebecca Walker speaks on issues of race, gender, sexuality and power. Daughter of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker (“The Color Purple”), and esteemed civil rights attorney Mel Leventhal, her memoirs include The New York Times Bestseller “Black, White and Jewish” and the critically acclaimed “Baby Love.” There will be a Q&A session and book signing following the lecture.

Jan. 24: BSU Soul Food Night

5:30 p.m. – Whitman’s Black Student Union hosts the annual Soul Food Night at Prentiss Dining Hall in celebration of African American culture and cuisine. A flash mob/dance routine will encourage audience participation while honoring First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative to combat childhood obesity. Posters of prominent black leaders will also be hung throughout the dining hall. 

Jan. 25: Impeach the President, Long Live the King

8:00 p.m. – Seattle hip-hop artist International Mo B. performs with guest Warm Gun in Reid Campus Center’s Young Ballroom. International Mo B. recently released a new album in tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., and his core belief in social justice. Tickets are limited with first priority to students and a select number of tickets also available to faculty and staff. Tickets will be available free of charge in Reid Foyer on days prior to the event.

Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative activities poster