Shenandoah University begins its annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 18, with discussion and introspection on equity, culture-blindness and color blindness in both the community and the classroom.
This year’s theme is From Echoes to Equity.
Justice and equity were the driving forces for the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To continue to build toward racial equity and his dream of a ‘Beloved Community,’ the Shenandoah campus and surrounding community join together with the continual work of justice. For this year’s MLK Day events, we will focus not only on commemorating and highlighting the past, but also on bringing about awareness of the present-day need for equity, enacting change, and promoting solidarity for action. The events show this focus with respect to the classroom, campus life, the community, and society at large.”
Hakeem Leonard, Ph.D. | Assistant Provost for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity
All MLK events are free. Although most are open only to the Shenandoah community, some are available to the public.
The highlight of Shenandoah’s celebration is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Service of Remembrance, which will be held virtually this year from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18. This event features readings and prayer from a number of faith traditions, as well as music and the sharing of King’s work, such as “Letters from a Birmingham Jail.” Shenandoah alumnus Carl Rush, MSEd., MBA, who serves as the equity coordinator for Winchester Public Schools, will present “Uniting Under the Umbrella of Equity.”
“We the People: A Discussion on Racism in Health Care” will be held virtually from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18. Participants will engage in a facilitated discussion on the impact of racism in health care and what it means to be an ally/partner to patients, colleagues and the community. This event is organized by the School of Health Professions Student Diversity Advisory Group in collaboration with Dr. Leonard and Health Professions Dean Karen Abraham, Ph.D. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link.
Another event open to the public is a walking tour in Winchester led by Jonathan Noyalas ’01, M.A., director of Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute, from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18. The tour will highlight the roles that Winchester’s African Americans, both enslaved and free, played in making emancipation a reality and how these efforts inspired hope, not only in the 1860s, but a century later. Space for this event is capped at 20 individuals. Contact Noyalas at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Events for Students, Faculty and Staff
In an effort that’s new this year, Shenandoah University students, faculty and staff are invited to present an original creative work — a poem, song, drawing, painting or craft — by submitting a video recording of their creative work that conveys an interpretation of the 2021 MLK theme: From Echoes to Equity.
Submission deadline is Monday, Jan. 11.
To submit, upload a video recording of the creative work to YouTube and email the link, contact information (name, phone number, school, and email address), and a creative work description to Jana Mangubat at email@example.com. Please visit https://www.su.edu/mlk/ for more information.
In addition, students, faculty and staff who wish to learn how to teach the campus community about diversity, inclusion and racial justice can sign up for Racial Justice Facilitator Trainings to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 19, Jan. 20, and Jan. 22. Each trainee will be given a $30 DoorDash gift card to use for lunch. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Faculty are also invited to two presentations: “Mirrors and Windows: Equity Openings for Everyday Learning” on Thursday, Jan. 21, and “Together in the Valley: Teaching Justice at Shenandoah” on Friday, Jan 22.
Zoom links will be posted soon for virtual events. Participants who register for events will receive a Zoom link before the event date.