Penn State To Celebrate MLK Day With Music, Acts Of Service

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is slated for Monday, January 16, but the celebrations of the civil rights leader’s life and impact will stretch throughout the remainder of the month. The university will observe MLK Day as an official university holiday for the first time.

In addition to no classes on Monday, Penn State will host various events to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work. The theme for MLK Week of Commemoration 2023 is “A Testament of Hope: #ForTheCulture.”

MLK Jr. Day Of Service Sponsored By Penn State World Campus: January 14 & 15

Penn State World Campus Student Affairs will host multiple service-related events across the country. On January 14, on-site events will be held in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania; Silver Spring, Maryland; Manville, New Jersey; and Tampa, Florida. On January 15, on-site events will take place in Philadelphia.

Registration for these on-site events is required by January 10.

Continue His Legacy: Day Of Service: January 16, 10 a.m. To 3 p.m.

The MLK Student Committee is leading this year’s day of service, which will start in Alumni Hall in the HUB. The day will begin with a welcome and breakfast, followed by various service projects. Following the day of service, a reflection will be held over lunch. You can register here.

An Evening Of Prose, Poetry, & Performance Tribute: January 17, 6 p.m. To 8 p.m.

Various performances will be held in Room 008 of the HUB to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the “fight for freedom, justice, and racial equity in this country.” The event is free and open to the public.

March For PEACE: January 18, Noon

The community is invited for a peaceful walk from the Paul Robeson Cultural Center in the HUB to Old Main and then to the MLK Jr. Plaza on South Fraser Street.

Let’s Chat About the Crown Act!: Cultural Control X Orlena Nwokah Blanchard: January 19, 7:30 p.m.

Guest speaker Orlena Nwokah Blanchard will lead a discussion in Freeman Auditorium in the HUB about the Crown Act, which is legislation that prohibits racial discrimination on hairstyles.

“Night Time Is the Right Time” With Mwenso And The Shakes: January 19, 9 p.m.

Join Michael Mwenso and other Black-roots artists, The Shakes, for a concert bringing jazz, blues, African, and Afro-American music to Penn State. Mwenso and The Shakes will perform in Heritage Hall in the HUB. The concert is free and open to the public.

A Choral Tribute To Dr. Martin Luther King: January 21, 4 p.m.

Penn State’s Essence of Joy, State College Area Master Singers, Bellefonte Area High School Concert Choir, Morgan State University Concert Choir, and Mwenso and The Shakes will perform at Eisenhower Auditorium, featuring choral music from “African and African American musical idioms.”

Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the Arts Ticket Center at (814) 863-0255.

Visit this press release for more information and a list of events at other Penn State campuses.

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About the Author

Mackenna Yount

Mackenna is a junior food science major from Manitou Springs, Colorado, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She loves food, is addicted to coffee, and can give you random facts or bad jokes that you didn't ask for. Ask her to bake gluten-free goodies so she has an excuse to try out new cupcake flavors. Mackenna can be contacted via Twitter @mackennayount (especially if you want to show off your best dad jokes) or you can shoot her an email at [email protected].

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