Activities began Monday, Jan.17 and will continue through Friday, Jan. 21.
Paulette Patterson Dilworth, Assistant Vice President for Access and Community Initiatives, said, “I think it goes beyond just Auburn.”
Auburn University hosts an MLK week every year, with different events intended to commemorate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Much of the history that’s tied up with the civil rights movement is tied to Alabama’s history,” Dilworth said. “I think it’s something that our young people should know about and I think that we should have a tradition of assuring that they are informed of this history.”
Featured events include an oratory contest, scholarship breakfast, guest speakers, lectures, student performances and community service projects, all of which are open to the public.
“I think it’s very important. I think it’s needed, but at the same time I don’t think it should just be dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. I truly feel like there were other civil rights leaders that served just as well as he did,” said Marvin J. Price, graduate assistant in the Multicultural Center. “Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent figure, but at the same time it should be a weeklong celebration for all the people that gave their lives to the civil rights struggle.”
The weeklong tribute began at the Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center Monday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 a.m. with a scholarship breakfast, where Trooper Taylor, Auburn University assistant head football coach, addressed the crowd.
Monday’s events also included the community service project, “A Day On and Not a Day Off.”
Several different activities took place in Tuskegee, Ala., Montgomery, Ala. and Macon, Ga.
On Tuesday at 11:45 a.m., Dana Chandler, the university archivist at Tuskegee University, gave a speech titled, “George Washington Carver: The First Green Scientist,” in the student center.
The talk was part of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs’ ongoing Lunch and Learn series, which strives to educate people on different topics while they enjoy their lunch hour.
Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m., Jennifer Saffron, adjunct lecturer of film studies and english at the University of Pittsburgh, gave a lecture titled, “It Takes a Village: Youth Media Literacy and Service-Learning,” in the student center.
The lecture, sponsored by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities and Access and Community Initiatives, explored some of the things it takes to raise children in today’s communities, as well as the current status of diversity at Auburn University.
Shakeer A. Abdullah, director of the Multicultural Center, gave his opinion on this week’s selection of speakers.
“Well, one of the things that we like to do is we like to make sure that we have as diverse of a representation as possible for King Week. I think it does Dr. King’s legacy well to have a wide range of folks talking about not only his legacy, but the impact that the civil rights movement had on the United States,” Abdullah said. “We’re very happy to have folks talking about everything from Auburn football to George Washington Carver being the first green scientist.”
Thursday at 3 p.m., a Discover Auburn lecture will be held in the Special Collections and Archives section at the Ralph Brown Draughon Library.
The associate provost for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Overtoun Jenda, will share commentary on the current condition of diversity and overall superiority concerning Auburn University.
On Friday, Jan. 21 at 11:45 a.m. in the Multicultural Center, finalists in the “Word from the Mountain Top” oratory contest will be presented.
Participants’ speeches respond to the question, “How do we honor Dr. King’s legacy of uniting communities and paying it forward?”
This year’s celebratory week was coordinated and planned by the Access and Community Initiatives and the Multicultural Center divisions of the Auburn University Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.