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Friday, March 31, 2023

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UH hopes to mark MLK’s legacy through numerous events

MLK events

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 17, the University’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion honored King’s legacy through multiple events both in-person and online.

These events observe King’s legacy as a pastor and civil rights advocate, as well as display the accomplishments of other civil rights activists during the 1960s. 

“It’s something that we take a lot of pride in that we’re one of the most racially and ethnically diverse urban research institutions in the nation,” said diversity education program manager Sydnee Garcia. “Thinking about what MLK day means and thinking about the advancement of his work and the people he worked alongside.”

The theme for this year’s commemorative celebration, “Journey to Justice,” sheds light on the efforts that are continuously made towards equality with the hope of inspiring individuals to continue pushing for change, according to Garcia. 

One of the events includes an MLK Gallery located in the Student Center South, where students and staff can view photos of King’s loved ones and the civil rights movement and learn about the activism that took place. 

Actress Ashley Blaine Featherson Jenkins, from Netflix’s “Dear White People,” is also joining the CDI’s celebrations on Jan. 25 to share her experience as a Black woman who’s inspired by activists of the time navigating through Hollywood.

Also, an essay competition reflecting on King’s legacy and a showing of a movie depicting the pastor’s life titled “King in the Wilderness”  will both be held on Jan. 26.

Later next month, a MLK Day of Service in partnership with the Metropolitan Volunteer Program will take place on Feb. 25, to address community service issues in Houston.

“If it wasn’t for his work advocating for voting rights or advocating for the arrogance of segregation,” Garcia said. “A lot of the things we take as rights and givens today wouldn’t be the case.”

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