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Theme announced for January’s M.L.K., Jr. Day

Lexi Riley
Staff Writer

The Martin Luther King Committee just announced its theme for the upcoming M.L.K., Jr. Day as “Drawn to Action.” Based on M.L.K.’s “Open Letter to Negro Youth,” the event hopes to stimulate dialogue and challenge people’s perceptions and beliefs on the topic of racism. The event will be an opportunity to open up productive conversations among the Wooster Community about civil rights and justice, equity, activism, responsibility and engagement.

“There are many issues that might inspire individuals to participate in improvement and change, and whatever those might be, that’s what draws one to act. Those who are ‘Drawn to Action’ around Dr. King are likely inspired by a desire to continue the work to create a more equitable, just society, and that is what we hope to support through our commemoration,” said David Butts, director of Multicultural Student Affairs.

The organizers hope to inspire a productive discussion amongst the campus community through the event’s Justice Dialogues. The M.L.K. Committee aspires to continue to receive submissions for topics for the Justice Dialogues and encourages students to contribute ideas. Justice Dialogues serve to spur conversations on difficult topics and generate daily discussions.

“One aspect of the celebration, Justice Dialogues, provides an opportunity for campus to highlight an issue (or achievement) in the work for diversity, equity, inclusion and justice … featuring students, President Bolton and the Chief of Wooster’s police department. Justice Dialogues do the initial work of starting difficult but necessary conversations, while providing an avenue for these discussions to become commonplace as we continue to understand and resist injustice,” said Jahqwahn Watson ’17, an intern with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and A.P.E.X.

Watson shared that previously, the Wooster community has responded resoundingly. He hopes this trend will continue and that many people will get involved in helping the community challenge past views on the topic of racism.

“In the past, the campus and larger Wooster community have been overwhelmingly supportive of this event. We’ve had attendance from the local NAACP chapter, Wooster High School and members of city governance … We hope to have as many students, staff, faculty and Wooster community members join as possible,” said Watson.

While M.L.K., Jr. Day is still far in the future, the committee hopes that the Wooster Community will get involved in the important discussion of racism each and every day, rather than one day out of the year. If the community keeps these problems and ideas in mind, the organizers believe that Wooster can grow and unite behind the fight against racism.

“My hope is that people will attend our events with an open mind and willing to be challenged. To be ‘drawn to action,’ for me, means that an internal shift in ideology, worldviews and general ways of relating to the world has taken place. A veil has been lifted or a dark room illuminated and suddenly, magnetically, we are drawn to respond to what has been revealed,” said Watson.

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