Wednesday, February 1, 2023

MTSU celebrates MLK Day with candlelight vigil


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Story & Photos by Taylor Ward  // Contributing Writer

A celebration and candlelight vigil in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was held at the Keathley University Center Theatre on Monday night. The event was sponsored by the Kappa Xi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha and MTSU Intercultural & Diversity Affairs.

Attendees of the vigil highlighted and honored Dr. King’s work through music and speech to remember him for his dedication to civil liberties and equality. Many student and community organizations participated in the program, paying tribute to the life, legacy and leadership of both Dr. King and his wife Coretta Scott King.

Daniel Green, the Director of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, hosted the event and spoke of Dr. King’s hope, courage and his contributions to civil liberties, reminding the audience to, “keep the dream alive.”

“This was a great experience seeing the diverse campus come together to celebrate such an ionic person,” Victoria Bradley, a freshman and agricultural business major, said.

MTSU student and psychology major, Trevor Johnson, also delivered a spoken word piece during the program.

“How many of you have ‘King thoughts’ that could move mountains?” Johnson said to the audience.

After hearing Johnson speak, Dominique White, a senior psychology major, said she was “definitely inspired.”

Green and keynote speaker, Bishop Chris Johnson, encouraged that the work of Dr. King be continued with the original qualities of “civility, justice and nonviolence.”

“Continue the legacy with love and unity and walk in hope,” Bishop Johnson said during his speech.

“It just makes me smile that we can do this as one, without any commotion or drama or anything negative,” Joshua Conway, a sophomore audio production major, said.

The vigil came to a close as the audience gathered in the Keathley University Center courtyard and each lit a candle in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which was followed by a moment of silence and a short prayer.

“This event has brought a lot of people together, and it just makes me smile because it’s good to see that different fraternities and organizations and colors and races can come together and have one central idea to do the things to better the community,” Conway said. “There’s nothing but positivity out here while we’re out here in the cold once again.”

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