Community Life hosts MLK Jr. Day celebration

Misty Severi | Banner | A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. stands in downtown Riverside in honor of Luther's legacy and famous "I have a dream" speech.

California Baptist University’s Community Life held its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Tribute on Jan. 21 in the Community Life lounge to celebrate MLK’s achievements throughout his lifetime.

The tribute featured a collection of photos of MLK with his family, friends and fellow leaders. Community Life also set up excerpts from his many speeches, candles and artwork.

“This year we wanted to do something a little different cause normally it had been a variation of listening to the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and we wanted people to engage with the events that came before and after that,” said Taylor Altizer, assistant director of campus activities for community life. “We pinpointed a couple of major contributions that he made for voting rights, the Birmingham convention, things like that, where people could learn about him, his life and his assassination,” Altizer said. “Also to have a deeper appreciation for his speech that we hear every year, but I don’t think we take the time to step back and think about what it meant.”

During the tribute, students were allowed to listen to the eleven-minute ‘I Have a Dream’ speech followed by an activity where students picked up a yellow card that said “Dream” to remind them every day of MLK’s global influence and desire to change the world.

“The purpose is for students to take it with them and it’s a size that can fit into their wallet,” Altizer said. “Every time they see it, they can remember what they learned about the speech and contemplate how has my life been changed because of this. Moving forward, can I change other people’s life by standing up for injustice?”

Grace Taber, junior communication science and disorders major, is an activities intern at community life.

“I am glad we go to a school that openly celebrates this and that I can be apart of an office that puts this kind of event on,” Taber said. “It is just a passive event where students can decide to reflect if they want to.”

Altizer hopes students gain a deeper appreciation for the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and a desire to learn more about him.

“Take the work that he did and figure out what that looks like in their life,” Altizer said. “To understand how they can fight injustice and serve our community not only on a small level but also globally. As well as, in seeing the things that aren’t right and correcting them by not being afraid to stand up for what we believe in.”

Madison Chia, junior pre-nursing major, said the MLK tribute is a great way to help educate students on the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

“A lot of people can take the holiday and use it for their pleasure without stopping to review history to see the impact that it has on today,” Chia said.

Community Life hopes any- one who was unable to see the MLK tribute will take the time to look into the man that Martin Luther King Jr. was and think about the speech’s impact on the world around them.

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