The College celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18 with service trips, a LEGO bridge building, a screening of Selma and several other events. The Black Student Union (BSU) set up an additional presentation in Baxter Hall on Jan 19, which displayed pictures of police brutality victims and posters with various statistics.
The day began with several volunteering and service trips in North Adams throughout the morning. The events continued in Paresky with a postcard writing campaign to incarcerated people, a book drive for incarcerated youth, a preview of a video produced by the Griffin Society, a fundraiser and construction of a LEGO bridge and student speeches and performances. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute also screened Selma, and the dining halls served themed dinners.
Hana Zewdie, a program coordinator at the Davis Center, headed the committee for this year’s celebration. Her work involved coordinating events with student groups, various academic departments, the Center for Learning in Action, the Clark and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Zewdie expressed overall satisfaction with the day. “[I am] definitely very happy with it overall, and we could not have done it without the partnerships that we had,” Zewdie said. “Everything that we did this year was everything that we set out to do.”
One group of student performers consisted of David Vascones ’18, Zach Wood ’18 and Joseph Wilson Jr. ’19, who each delivered a portion of King’s sermon, “Loving Your Enemies,” in Baxter Hall. “I’m really glad we did ‘Loving Your Enemies.’ There are some key points in the actual sermon that cover what’s going on in the world today,” Wilson Jr. said. “It was a great way to tie in the past with the present.”
The display organized by BSU the following day commemorated victims of police brutality in recent years. “BSU separately wanted to have some sort of vigil to commemorate people who were lost to police brutality,” Alia Richardson ’19, first-year representative for BSU, said. “We wanted to humanize the victims. We were respecting and memorializing the individuals who were lost and celebrating them as individuals and not as statistics.”