Editor's note: Several new events have been added to Virginia Tech's ten-day celebration honoring Martin Luther King's legacy. They include two seminars this week by Drs. Sharon and Craig Ramey, professors and distinguished research scholars at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. The Rameys knew Dr. King and have been highly involved nationally in promoting and addressing issues of health disparities and race in the United States.
More details and the most current event information can be found at the Martin Luther King Day website.
Editor's note: Since the Dec. 15 article on "What Happened to the Dream?", Virginia Tech's ten-day celebration honoring Martin Luther King's legacy, several events have updated information. We share that information now with the Virginia Tech community.
The most current event information can be found at the Martin Luther King Day website.
Children’s book drive
- Jan. 19 through Feb. 2
- To benefit Smart Beginnings New River Valley Reading Hour, a local early-childhood literacy and mentoring program. Collection boxes located in Squires Student Center Atrium, the VT Engage office (110 New Hall West), Newman Library, Blacksburg Public Library, and Bookholders in Blacksburg. Sponsored by VT Engage.
Keynote speaker: Jerry Gaines
- Tuesday, Jan. 27, 7 p.m., Squires Student Center Haymarket Theater
- Jerry Gaines, a 1971 graduate of Virginia Tech, was the first full-scholarship African-American athlete to attend the university and the first African-American to be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
A Conversation on Race: Diversity and Inclusion on Campus
- Wednesday, Jan. 28, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Squires Student Center Old Dominion Ballroom
- Students and community members seeking a healthier campus climate are invited to this interactive dinner and dialogue. Sponsored by InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship and the Division of Student Affairs.
Reclaiming the Martin Luther King I Knew
- Thursday, Jan. 29, 6 p.m., 345 Squires Student Center
- Wornie Reed, professor and director of Virginia Tech’s Race and Social Policy Center, will share memories of his interactions with King, a person often depicted as a peaceful dreamer, but as Reed notes, was actually the opposite. Sponsored by VT Engage.
Student-led gospel concert
- Friday, Jan. 30, 6:30 to 8 p.m., McBryde 100
- Student and community groups will perform to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Virginia Tech's 'What Happened to the Dream?' celebration honors Martin Luther King's legacy
BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 15, 2014 -- To remember the life and legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Virginia Tech will host, "What Happened to the Dream?", a ten-day celebration beginning Jan. 19 featuring several events that are free and open to the public.
Events held throughout the week will give students and others in the community an opportunity to discuss current cultural issues and honor the life of the person who was once introduced as the “moral leader of our nation.”
The week-long celebration will begin with a book drive to benefit Smart Beginnings NRV Reading Hour, a local early-childhood literacy and mentoring program. Organized by VT Engage, the book drive will start Jan. 19 and run through Feb. 2.
Jerry Gaines, a member of the Virginia Tech Class of 1971, the first full-scholarship African American athlete to attend the university, and the first African American to be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, will give the keynote address on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in Haymarket Theater of Squires Student Center.
On Thursday, Jan. 29, Wornie Reed will present “Reclaiming the Martin Luther King I Knew” at 6 p.m. in 345 Squires Student Center. He will share memories of his interactions with King, a person often depicted as a peaceful dreamer, but, as Reed notes, was actually the opposite.
Reed, professor and director of Virginia Tech’s Race and Social Policy Center, attended the March on Washington in 1963, hearing first-hand King’s dreams for our nation’s future. Though many focus on King’s ad-libbed “I Have a Dream” ending, says Reed, he encourages people to read the entirety of King’s speech.
“It explained the plight of black Americans and proclaimed the future of our protests until black people are truly free,” said Reed. "We had come to Washington to express how we were intent on forcing America to make good on its promise of ‘unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' He also proclaimed that there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until blacks were granted their citizenship rights.”
Also on Jan. 29, a student-led discussion reflecting on King’s impact on society and Gaines’ address, will be held. Time and location to be announced.
Mosiah Lloyd of Washington, D.C., a senior majoring in building construction and real estate in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, serves as vice president and historian of the Theta Iota chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Phi Alpha is coordinating many events for the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“We should celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because he took on the brunt of the burden of an entire culture and civil rights movement, all under the banner of non-violence," said Lloyd. "King held the country accountable for its creed, and did so while being beaten, thrown in jail, having his house set on fire, and more. Virginia Tech teaches students to ‘Invent the Future.’ All invention starts with a dream. Why not invent a future of equality and freedom for all?”
The King celebration will culminate with a gospel concert to be held on Friday, Jan. 30. Time and location to be announced.
Virginia Tech is closed on Monday, Jan. 19 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Spring semester classes begin on Tuesday, Jan. 20
As further information regarding times and locations of events becomes available, updates will be published in Virginia Tech News and the university calendar.
Written by Holly Paulette.