Duquesne to celebrate life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events through Jan.


Liza Zulick | Staff Writer

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘what are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King Jr.

What had started as a holiday for just the state of Illinois in 1973, by 1983 people all around the U.S. wanted to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. for the work he put into ending racial segregation and discrimination.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of each January as a celebration for both his birthday, which falls on Jan. 15, and as a way to honor his life.

Following the traditions set across the U.S. in the early 1980s, Duquesne will host its own week of events to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and unite the community by bringing together students and neighbors to celebrate.

On Monday, Jan. 14, Duquesne began a week-long celebration that started with students and faculty placing flags with their dreams written on them on the College Hall lawn to represent King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

Other events that will take place this week in the Duquesne community include a luncheon with keynote speaker and Duquesne professor Kathy Glass and a speaker series event with Elizabeth Ortiz, vice president of institutional diversity and equity from DePaul University.

“My speech will examine why Dr. King’s love-driven politics provide models for 21st century activists who continue the struggle for sociopolitical equality,” Glass said.

Following this week’s activities, Duquesne will host events through Jan. 30, beginning with a prayer and breakfast program at Ebenezer Baptist Church in the Hill District on Monday, Jan. 21.

Later that day, a student athletic challenge will take place at the Power Center, where students can compete in basketball and volleyball tournaments. SGA and Ebony Women for Social Change will sponsor Student Dialogue: Faith and Community to promote conversation among the student body.

“It is imperative that we have an event driven entirely by students. Collaborating with Ebony Women for Social Change and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion on this is an honor for SGA. As a student body, we have not only the opportunity, but the responsibility, to take part in dialogue about our community,” said Student Government President, Eric Chatterjee. “Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. this way allows us to envision the dream he spoke of and how we can work together to achieve it. It gives us an ideal to aspire to, and thereby a purpose to guide and nurture dreams of our own.”

Duquesne’s events will conclude with an invitation-only event of a presentation titled Sacred Conversation on Race.

“A courageous civil rights leader, Dr. King offered a compelling framework for social change. In the coming days, we’ll celebrate his accomplishments, drawing inspiration from his tireless commitment to solidarity, social justice and reconciliation,” Glass said.

The majority of the events do require an RSVP, but all are encouraged to attend. A complete list and RSVP links can be found on Duquesne’s website.

**Hallie Lauer contributed reporting.