MLK Week Events


MLK march with banner

Over the next week James Madison University students, faculty, staff and Harrisonburg community members are invited to celebrate and commemorate the great works of Martin Luther King Jr.   The theme of the week, “The Strength of a Dream Still Leads the Way,” was chosen by the celebration week committee to inspire the campus community to take part in the many events offered throughout the week.  “It is important to think about Martin Luther King Day as a day ‘on’ not a day ‘off,’” says Center for Multicultural Student Services Director Valarie Ghant.

This year there are several unique events including the unveiling of a diversity mosaic in Rose Library on Jan. 16.  The 48-foot-long mosaic designed by JMU employee Sarah Swanlund includes pieces by 40 JMU clubs and organizations.  On Monday, Jan. 20, a ceremony to commemorate the City of Harrisonburg’s renaming of Cantrell Avenue to Martin Luther King, Jr. Way will include music, reflection and a ribbon cutting followed by a march. 

The Formal Program on Jan. 20 will feature keynote speaker Dr. Steve Perry, founder of the Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn.   The school for low-income students has sent 100 percent of its graduates to four-year colleges since opening in 2004.  Perry is a passionate advocate for education and has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, is an Essence magazine columnist, best-selling author and host of the TV ONE docudrama “Save My Son.”

The community is invited to join JMU in honoring King's work at the following events:

Jan. 13-17: Commons Days, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday on The Commons: Several student organizations sponsor booths and events in the spirit of service embodied by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; activities include canned food and clothing drives, arts and crafts and other philanthropic opportunities.

Jan. 14: Community Service, 4-6 p.m., Boys & Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Simms Unit.

Jan. 14: Step Afrika! 8 p.m., Forbes Center for the Performing Arts.  A worldwide dance phenomenon, Step Afrika! is the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. For tickets:

Jan. 15: MLK Poetry Slam, 5-6:30 p.m., Transitions in Warren Hall.

Jan. 16: March and Speak Out, 4-6 p.m.: Members of the university community are asked to gather at 3:50 p.m. at the James Madison statue in front of Varner House for a march through campus that ends in Transitions in Warren Hall.  Along the route, participants will witness several interactive scenes that depict past and present injustices that touch the civil rights movement.  During the Speak Out, people are encouraged to share their reflections on King, his dream and legacy.

Jan. 16: Community Service, 5-7 p.m., Our Community Place, Harrisonburg.

Jan. 16: Diversity Mosaic, 5 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. program and speakers, Rose Library.  JMU Libraries and Educational Technologies invite you to the unveiling of the Diversity Mosaic created to reflect JMU’s cultural awareness of diversity on campus.

Jan. 19: Unity University Sunday, 10 a.m., Taylor Hall 405: Sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.

Jan. 20: Formal Program, 7 p.m., Wilson Hall Auditorium: The program will honor the life of King through words, drama and music.  Keynote speaker Dr. Steve Perry, innovative educator and founder, Capital Preparatory Magnet School.

For a full list of the week’s events or for more information contact the Center for Multicultural Student Services at (540) 568-2290 or visit



January 13, 2014


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Published: Monday, January 13, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2019

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