Williams College to Host Annual Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., January 13, 2015—Williams College will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with three days of events on Friday, January 16; Sunday, January 18; and Monday, January 19. All are welcome to attend these free, public events.

Friday, January 16:

The Davis Center will lead an assembly at the Williamstown Elementary School commemorating the memory of King. The assembly will take place at 10 a.m. in the elementary school’s auditorium. Fifth- and 6th-grade students will share essays and poems, and 4th-grade students will present posters in response to the question, “Who is Martin Luther King Jr.?”

Sunday, January 18:

From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Williams Recovery of All Perishable Surplus, or WRAPS, will host a meal-packing session in Paresky Dining Hall’s Green Room. Wrapped food will be given to the Mohawk Forest Housing Project. RSVP to [email protected] by noon on Friday, Jan. 16.

Monday, January 19:

From 9 a.m. to noon, members of the Williams community will participate in the Northern Berkshire MLK Day of Service at the MCLA Church Street Center. Transportation (for Williams College students only) departs from the Paresky Center at 8:40 a.m. RSVP to [email protected] by noon on Thursday, Jan. 15.

From 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Center for Learning in Action will be on hand in Paresky Center’s Baxter Hall to answer questions about experiental education, civic engagement, and service learning opportunities on and off campus.

Also, justin adkins, assistant director for gender, sexuality and activism at the Davis Center, will be available to recruit students to write letters to people currently incarcerated.  Following on Dr. King’s belief that the incarcerated should not be dispossessed, these letters are in the spirit of the missives that King wrote while detained.

At the same time, Williams will present an anti-stereotype project titled “MLK: Understanding the Dream.” Williams community members are invited to complete the following sentence:  “You judge me by ______, but I see myself as ______.” All entries will be compiled in a bound volume.

At 2:30 p.m., Lee Snack Bar will host a reception featuring ice cream and hot chocolate.

At 3 p.m., the video premiere  of “MLK: Understanding the Dream,” assembled by Williams students, will be featured. The 90-second promo of this video can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X10ZR54-XJc

From 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., Williams students will share their testimonials and personal reflections in an open mic session. Students will also present “Speeches on Social Solidarity: Helping people see beyond stigmas” and share excerpts from speeches by Dr. King and others. Finally, students will share their thoughts on figures who inspire them.

At 4:30 p.m. in Baxter Hall, College Chaplain Rick Spalding will lead a moment of silence in memory of King. Then, students from Williamstown Elementary School will present their essays and poems. A reading of Keith H. “Malik” Washington’s essay “Houston needs a civilian review board—but Texas needs so much more!” will follow.

The celebration concludes with student group performances at 5:15 p.m.

The events are co-sponsored by the Davis Center, the Center for Learning in Action, Converging Worlds, the Chaplains’ Office, and Dining Services.


For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map