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ETSU plans multiple events honoring the life of MLK Jr.

Contributed • Updated Jan 12, 2018 at 7:37 PM

East Tennessee State University will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 15, but still plans to host a variety of activities on and surrounding the national holiday honoring the late civil rights leader’s life and legacy.

Two Days of Service will take place, allowing ETSU students and organizations to honor King by serving in the local community. The Office of Community Service Programs and Volunteer ETSU will connect participants with nonprofits and other organizations to accomplish a variety of tasks.

The Days of Service will be held Monday, Jan. 15, and Saturday, Jan. 20, from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. both days. More information and a link to the participation registration form are available at www.etsu.edu. Additional information may also be obtained via email at serve@etsu.edu.

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, in conjunction with the first day of spring semester classes, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Cake Cutting Celebration will be held at the Multicultural Center on the second floor of the D.P. Culp University Center from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

That same day, Dr. Brenda White Wright will speak on King and civil rights at the Reece Museum at 4 p.m., followed by a Unity Walk starting at 6 p.m. at the museum.

Wright is an award-winning motivational speaker, storyteller and diversity consultant with over 40 years of experience in business management, servant leadership, multicultural issues, youth initiatives and much more. She is an alumna of ETSU, having earned her bachelor’s degree in business communication, master’s degree in reading and storytelling and doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the university. She remains involved with her alma mater, and ETSU’s Emerging Leaders Academy, an eight-week leadership development program, is named in her honor.

“Finite Disappointment/Infinite Hope,” an exhibit opening Jan. 17 at East Tennessee State University’s Reece Museum, will also be presented in tribute to and commemoration of King and the ongoing quest for justice and racial equality.

Continuing through March 23, this exhibit features the work of contemporary Washington, D.C.-based photographer and ETSU alumnus Gediyon Kifle, providing an innovative and educational retelling of historical narratives from an artist’s perspective. An opening reception and curator’s talk by Kifle will be held Thursday, Jan. 18, from 5-7 p.m. at the Reece Museum.

In addition, a Coffee Hour from noon-2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Multicultural Center will feature a screening of the documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro,” followed by a brief discussion. In the 2017 film, directed by Raoul Peck and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in America with his unfinished novel, “Remember This House.”

For more information on these free public events, call the ETSU Multicultural Center at 423-439-4844. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.

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