Jan. 20 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and UT has arranged several events spanning a week to commemorate King’s legacy.
Monday evening, the Office of Multicultural Student Life, alongside the Black Cultural Programming Committee and Commission for Blacks, presented the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration.
The event took place at 7 p.m. in the Student Union, and UT alumnus Theotis Robinson Jr. served as the keynote speaker. In 1960, Robinson was inspired by the integration of other American schools to fight for desegregation at UT. Ultimately, Robinson was successful in his pursuits of integration, and the following year he became the first African American student to attend UT.
Robinson has held several professional roles throughout the UT System as well, including serving as vice president for equity and diversity.
This Thursday, Professor Maurice Hobson from Georgia State University will deliver a lecture on the way that the public remembers King. Specifically, she will analyze the way that certain groups who claim to admire King have also exploited King’s legacy by undermining certain aspects of his life. Hobson will also be addressing myths surrounding King’s life.
The lecture will be held in the Haslam Business Building Room 203 at 5:30 p.m.
Next, on Saturday morning, the Jones Center for Leadership and Service will be organizing its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The event will begin at 8 a.m. at the Student Union with breakfast and a lecture regarding the way that volunteering relates to living out King’s legacy. Then, students will head to various areas around Knoxville to volunteer until 12 p.m.
The event has reached full capacity and is no longer accepting new registrants.
Finally, UT will be participating in Knoxville’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade on Monday. Chancellor Donde Plowman and other Volunteer community members will be marching in the event. Students should wear orange to the parade and register online by Jan. 17 to participate.
Participants will begin lining up for the parade at 8:30 a.m., and the parade will begin at 10 a.m. from Midway Chilhowee Park.