The University of Pennsylvania will remember Martin Luther King Jr. with its 20th Annual Commemorative Symposium on Social Change, a series of nearly 20 community events, Jan. 19-30.
All MLK Symposium events are free and open to the public. They include film screenings, lectures, ceremonies, musical performances and panel discussions.
The centerpiece is the annual Day of Service, Monday, Jan. 19, which begins with a breakfast for volunteers at 8:30 a.m. in Houston Hall’s Hall of Flags.
Participants will then go to a variety of community service projects, including children’s banner painting, recording books-on-tape to promote literacy and beautification efforts in local schools.
In addition, to have a larger and longer-lasting impact for the community, the African-American Resource Center will host two workshops. One is for parents on understanding college financial aid. The other is for high school juniors and will explain the college application process.
In recent years, the annual Day of Service has welcomed approximately 450 volunteers from all walks of life with different backgrounds and physical abilities. Organizers say that they are always in need of more volunteers, and no registration is required.
“This is a chance for Penn students, faculty and staff to spend time with our neighbors in West Philadelphia,” Robert Carter, associate director at Penn’s African-American Resource Center, said. “It’s a mixture of people working together to build understanding. What we can accomplish in one day can go a long way.”
Other key events during the 2015 Symposium include the 14th annual MLK Lecture in Social Justice, featuring actress, activist and humanitarian Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, social enterprise entrepreneur and founder of Studio 189; the Interfaith Program and Awards Commemoration with guest speaker Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; a discussion with Ndumie Funda, an advocate for South African women who are forced to undergo “corrective rape;” and “Jazz for King,” an evening of jazz music and poetry readings.