The drumbeat of racial equality and justice will be heard at Kenyon during a week-long celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. that begins on Saturday, Jan. 18, with a day of service.
The theme for King-related events is "Drum Major for Justice: Servant Leadership and Political Action" and includes the annual Day of Dialogue on Monday, Jan. 20, and a panel discussion on King’s politics hosted by the Kenyon Center for the Study of American Democracy (CSAD) on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Ivonne M. Garcia, chairwoman of the event planning committee and associate professor of English, said the goal of the celebration each year is to connect the King legacy with contemporary times. “We thought it was important to think about the idea of a drum major for justice as the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the thing we want to think about for the future. The idea of a drum major for justice is beautiful.”
A day of service, on Saturday, Jan. 18, is being introduced this year for students, faculty and staff as part of the King celebration. Volunteers will offer a helping hand at the overnight homeless shelter Winter Sanctuary of Knox County, Hospice of Knox County, and on campus.
“The theme is servant leadership, and we wanted to bring that theme full circle,” said Lacey Filkins, who has organized the service day as assistant director of new student orientation and community programs. “Serving the community is a big part of being an activist.”
Monique Jernigan, assistant director of multicultural affairs and a member of the planning committee, said it’s important to consider the King holiday “a day of, not a day off.” She added, “This is a legacy worth remembering, a legacy of giving back to the community, of getting together as a community, as a campus, regardless of one’s culture or background.”
Here is the schedule of free events: