Oratory contest is part of celebration
Updated: Monday, 16 Jan 2012, 9:25 AM CST
Published : Monday, 16 Jan 2012, 8:33 AM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) – The 18th annual community march celebrating the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will begin with a rally Monday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Statue on the East Mall on the UT campus.
It starts at 9 a.m.
“We are honored to welcome community members, faculty, staff and students as they begin the annual march from the university to the state Capitol and on to Huston-Tillotson University,” said Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement.
“The march is a reminder of the tremendous efforts and personal sacrifices of those in the civil rights movement, and we hope it encourages participants to work for equity and social justice now.”
UT President Bill Powers will provide the welcome. State Rep. Dawnna Dukes; Omi Osun Joni Jones, associate professor in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, and Edmund T. Gordon, chairman of the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, will speak.
The event will include performances by the Innervisions Gospel Choir and the winner of the MLK Oratory Contest from Campbell Elementary School.
Dukes will be the grand marshal as marchers proceed from the statue to the Capitol, where the Greater Mount Zion Church Choir will perform. The march will continue from the Capitol to Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St., where a community festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The festival will feature performances by Les and the Funk Mob, MirrorImage Dem Twinz, the Nelson Saga Band and the Ugly Elephant Band.
This year, marchers are being asked to donate canned goods or nonperishable food items to be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank.
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration has previously drawn up to 15,000 people, according to the Austin Area Heritage Council, which coordinates events.
The celebration events are sponsored by multiple community organizations, including the university’s John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies.
Free parking will be available at The University of Texas at Austin’s UFCU Disch-Falk Field and the state parking garage at 12th and San Jacinto streets, as well as several churches and schools on East 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Other activities in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day planned by the Austin Area Heritage Council include the United Way’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service starting at Huston-Tillotson University at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, and a classical music performance by Ghanian-American pianist William Chapman Nyaho on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m. at the Metropolitan AME Church located at 1101 E. 10th St. More information about each event and parking is available online.
MLK Day Events Downtown and at Southwestern
Events to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in Georgetown on Monday include a noon march from the Courthouse followed by a speaker and an evening community dinner and speaker at Southwestern University. All events are open to the public.
A march to honor the MLK Day holiday will begin at noon at the Williamson County Courthouse at 710 S. Main Street. Marchers will gather on the north side of the Courthouse. The 2012 Citywide MLK Unity Celebration is sponsored by the Georgetown Fellowship of Churches.
The theme of the event this year is Remembering the Dream. After meeting on the Square, there will be a seven-block march to Macedonia Baptist Church located at 206 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street. A program beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Macedonia Baptist Church will feature guest speaker Rev. Debra Crumpton, pastor at Wellspring United Methodist Church in Georgetown.
Community Dinner and Speaker at Southwestern University
Southwestern University will host a community dinner to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. at 5 p.m. in the McCombs Ballrooms. The theme for the dinner will be Sustaining the Dream.
Featured speaker for the dinner will be La Vonne Neal, dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. Neal was on the faculty at Southwestern from 1997 to 2005 before she left to become dean of the College of Education at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She was named dean of the Northern Illinois University College of Education in April 2010.
The dinner is free for Southwestern students, and $5 for faculty, staff and members of the community. For reservations, call (512) 863-1342 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
MLK Day in Hays County
The Dunbar Heritage Association will host Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Monday 10:30 a.m.at the Hays County Courthouse. The community is invited to the celebration.
Master of Ceremonies Homer Guerrero will preside over the program, which consists of a musical selection and guest speaker Terence Parker, Assistant Director of Retention Management and Planning at Texas State University.
Following the program there will be a march down LBJ Street to MLK Street. At this intersection, participants are invited to view a display of the three artists chosen as finalists for the LBJ/MLK Crossroads Memorial Project design. The march will end at Dunbar Recreation Center for a birthday reception and MLK display.
Parking will be available at the Dunbar Community Center, 801 MLK Drive, at 9:30 a.m. Vans will be running every 15 minutes to the Hays County Court House.