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MLK Day activities planned at SMSU

A virtual program celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Southwest Minnesota State University will be held Jan. 18.

The event will be via Zoom from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Pre-registration is required and can be made at: www.bit.ly/SMSUMLK2021, or by scanning the QR code on the poster.

The schedule includes a musical opening by award-winning gospel singer Kimberly Brown, who will perform three songs: “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “Oh, Happy Day” and “With My Whole Heart.”

Dr. Aimee Shouse, dean of the College of Arts, Letters & Sciences, and Dr. Raphael Onyeaghala, dean of the College of Business, Education, Graduate & Professional Studies, will give the welcome. That will be followed by Spoken Word performances by SMSU students.

SMSU President Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya will then speak, followed by the presentation of the inaugural MLK Humanitarian Award to Dr. Jeff Kolnick, Professor of History. Jefferson Lee IV, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Access, Opportunity, Success and the Mustang Pathway Program, will make the presentation.

The keynote address will be given by a pair of SMSU alumni: Dr. Arnold Bell, professor of communication at the College of Southern Nevada, Class of ’96; and Sedric McClure, assistant dean in the Department of Multicultural Life at Macalester College, Class of ’94.

Closing remarks will be by Dr. Erin Kline, associate director of the Mustang Pathway Program, and Jackye Meba, a graduate assistant in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Brown will conclude the celebration with a song, “Lord Don’t Move the Mountain.”

A number of service opportunities associated with MLK Day are available.

Volunteers can help package food for the Mustang Market on Jan. 19. Those interested can sign up at the Center for Civic & Community Engagement, BA 161; 537-6423. Mustang Market is the campus food shelf. Those wishing to receive food and personal care items from the market can reserve a spot at: www.bit.ly/MustangMarketAppointment.

There is also a food and personal care donation drive ongoing, in association with MLK Day. Donations will be accepted until Jan. 19 and can be dropped off at the Center for Community & Civic Engagement, BA 161, or the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Commons East. Mustang Market distribution will be on Jan. 20.

Personal care items needed for the donation drive can be found here: www.SMSU.edu/go/MLK.

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