Newsroom

MLK Week Reflects on History of Civil Rights Movement

Jessica Pierce, the national co-chair of the Black Youth Project 100, delivers the keynote address for Martin Luther King Jr. Week.

<em>Jessica Pierce</em>Jessica PierceAlma College celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a weeklong schedule of activities that includes a Civil Rights exhibit, film screening, community service, poetry slam and keynote address by the leader of a national organization dedicated to freedom and justice.

Jessica Pierce, the national co-chair of the Black Youth Project 100, presents “Can I Live? Building Strategies that Support and Protect Black Lives” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 in the Remick Heritage Center. Admission is free and open to the public.

A former national training director for the NAACP, Pierce leads training, civic engagement and capacity-building initiatives as the national chair for BYP 100.

Her passion for organizing and creating change started at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she led campaign efforts around access to higher education and economic justice. From there she served as the organizing director for the U.S. Student Association, where she led efforts to pass the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

Through the 2012 national election, Pierce helped orchestrate the NAACP’s electoral campaign that registered, educated and turned-out more than one million Black people around the country.

<em>Jessica Pierce</em>Jessica Pierce“Jessica Pierce is focused on empowering young people to become leaders in creating justice where there is injustice,” says Candy McCorkle, director of diversity and inclusion at Alma College.

MLK Week at Alma launches with a pictorial display of the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the work of Dr. King from Saturday, Jan. 14 through Friday, Jan. 20 in the Tyler-VanDusen Rotunda.

“Our theme this year focuses on the history of the Civil Rights Movement as an inclusive movement for all people,” says McCorkle. “We are celebrating the events and people who have been foundational in the struggle for equity and the progress we have made toward inclusion as well as to remind us of the work yet to do to ensure equity and inclusivity for all our nation.”

A complete list of MLK Week events at Alma College follows.

Martin Luther King Jr. Events at Alma College
January 14-21, 2017

Jan. 14-20/The Alma College Diversity and Inclusion Office sponsors a pictorial display of the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Saturday, Jan. 14 through Friday, Jan. 20 in the Tyler-Van Dusen Rotunda. Admission is free and open to the public.

Jan. 15/The Alma College Chaplain’s Office sponsors a Martin Luther King Jr. Week non-denominational worship service with a guest preacher and gospel choir at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 in the Dunning Memorial Chapel. All are welcome.

Jan. 16/The Alma College Diversity and Inclusion Office hosts a screening of the documentary “Still I Rise: The Five Decades of the Civil Rights Movement” by Henry Louis Gates Jr. at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16 in the Dow Science Center Room L4. The film reflects on the events and people of the Civil Rights Movement and how it has impacted the nation. Admission is free and open to the public.

Jan. 16/The Responsible Leadership Institute and Tau Kappa Epsilon sponsor a Red Cross Blood Drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16 in Tyler-Van Dusen Commons. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome as space permits. Schedule appointments online at redcrossblood.org.

Jan. 17/The sisters of Alpha Xi Delta provide candy and facts about Martin Luther King Jr.’s work and the Civil Rights Movement from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 on the first floor lobby of the Swanson Academic Center.

Jan. 18/Activist Jessica Pierce, the national chair of the Black Youth Project 100, delivers the keynote address for Martin Luther King Jr. Week at Alma College. She speaks at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 in the Remick Heritage Center. Admission is free and open to the public. The Alma College Choir, under the direction of Will Nichols, performs prior to Pierce’s presentation.

Jan. 19/The Hilson Poetry Slam features an open microphone and audience participation by faculty and students reading original and published poetry at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19 in the Alma College Library, Anderson Reading Area. The slam celebrates the life and legacy of the late Calvin Hilson, a 2006 Alma graduate. All are welcome.

Jan. 19/Students, faculty and staff are invited to join the Alma College women’s soccer team in serving free meals at Community Café. Sodexo provides the food. The meals for local community members are served from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 at First Presbyterian Church in Alma.

Jan. 20/A campus reception marking the conclusion of Martin Luther King Jr. Week at Alma College begins at noon Friday, Jan. 20 in the Tyler-Van Dusen Rotunda. The reception celebrates the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Jan. 21/Alma College students volunteer at Kids Night Out, a community-based event in which the college students watch movies, play games and go swimming with elementary-aged youth. Kids Night Out takes place at Alma High School from 6 to 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. To volunteer, contact Marissa Relitz at: relitzml@alma.edu.

Story published on December 15, 2016