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35th Annual MLK Jr. Commemoration Week Encourages Confrontation Of Injustice

Penn State’s Martin Luther King Jr. Student Committee will host its annual commemoration week next week with the theme, “The Story of U.S: Exposing the Unarmed Truth.” The week’s celebrations will be kicked off with Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 20.

The student committee has chosen to take this week to recognize the complex realities behind the underprivileged in our country. They invite the Penn State community to tell their story and understand who they are in this time of injustice.

The week will honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy through events encouraging discussion and truth. Events, which will be available to the entire Penn State community, are listed below.

45th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Banquet

6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15 in the Bryce Jordan Center

This event will include a buffet dinner, cash bar, performances, and a night full of dancing. The 2020 Forum on Black Affairs (FOBA) Humanitarian Award recipient and student scholarship winners will be recognized. Tickets are $80 for individual adults, $750 for a table of ten, and can be purchased here.

Doors for the banquet will open at 5:30 p.m. and the banquet will begin at 6.

MLK Jr. National Day of Service

9:30 a.m. on Monday, January 20 in Alumni Hall

Penn State students with valid ID are invited to attend this event to honor King through acts of community service.

Check-in for the event will take place between 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Second Annual Day of Dialogue

Various times on Monday, January 20 in Thomas Building

Students can participate in the second annual day of dialogue between the hours of 9:00-10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and 2:15-4:00 p.m.

The Penn State community is encouraged to discuss big issues in a collaborative and insightful way through small group discussions comprised of twelve participants and two World in Conversation facilitators. Students, faculty, administrators, and community members can register for the event here.

Slam Poetry Contest

7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21 at State College High School

This event gives any interested writers, poets, social activists, and speakers an opportunity to “tell The Story of U.S.” and compete for chances to win a $500 scholarship.

Annual Evening Celebration With Keynote Speakers

6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22 in the Schwab Auditorium

This event will feature keynote speakers Symone Sanders and Bakari Sellers.

Sanders previously worked as the national press secretary for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during the 2016 election. Bakari, was the youngest African American elected official at the age of 22, and he represented South Carolina’s 90th district from 2006 to 2014.

Speak for Peace Oratorical Contest

6:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 22 in Heritage Hall

This oratorical speech contest is co-sponsored by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the MLK Jr. Student Committee.

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About the Author

Lauren Wysseier

Lauren is a freshman writer majoring in journalism from Fort Myers, Florida. She is a Floridian but, at heart, a Pennsylvanian. Her go-to fun fact is that she used to live in Barcelona, Spain. She is passionate about dogs, food, the Oxford comma, and most importantly, all-things Penn State. Don't hesitate to send her your best dog videos on Twitter @laurenwysseier or email [email protected] with other inquiries.


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