By Melanie Wolff
This year, January 18 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which was authorized in 1983 and first observed three years later to commemorate the great civil rights activist. Schools and universities will be closed for the day and most jobs will give the day off. However, the day has always been pushed as “a day on, not a day off” to honor King’s legacy through service and activism. As King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” Below are 8 of the many HBCUs commemorating MLK Day as more than just a day off.
1. Morehouse College
Morehouse was attended by King himself and thus has an incredible list of activities to commemorate him throughout the end of January. MLK day will be celebrated with a day of service, while speaking events, film screenings, and a fundraiser for the MLK Legacy Scholarship will occur through the rest of the month.
2. Tennessee State University
TSU’s Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement held a mini grant competition for HBCUs in the southeast region of the country, providing small funds for community service and capacity building projects to be completed for MLK’s Day of Service.
3. Spelman College
Spelman will hold a Day of Service, starting with a speaking event featuring Dr. Vicki Crawford, leading into various community service opportunities throughout the day.
4. Xavier University of Louisiana
Xavier University of Louisiana is collaborating with Tulane, Loyola, and University of New Orleans to create the MLK Week for Peace. The events include a convocation ceremony featuring activist Kwame Rose, volunteering in their New Orleans communities, and a night of artistic expression with step teams, spoken word, song and dance.
5. Hampton University
The Hampton University Student Government Association in conjunction with the Office of Student Activities will host their annual Martin Luther King, Jr. march on campus. Following the march, they will have a program honoring King, with the keynote address given by Pastor Akeem Zarell Walker.
6. Florida A&M University
FAMU will be celebrating MLK day with an all-university convocation, as well as a FAMU National Day of Service.
7. Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville is partnering with local organizations to create a day of service and reflection, including a food collection for their local food bank.
8. Delaware State University
Delaware State University is holding their annual MLK National Holiday Program, titled “Celebrate the Dream.”