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MLK Cover Story Photo

Celebrating King
Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. '48 Commemorated With Community Service, Music and Dialogue

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

Related news article - Interfaith Activist Eboo Patel Urges Men of Morehouse to Continue King's Work

Throughout January, Morehouse celebrated the life and legacy of one of the world's most important figures and one of her most distinguished College sons.

The 2012 Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration honored King, a 1948 graduate and global drum major for justice and peace, with events ranging from interfaith worship to a day of community service.

"The annual commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a call to action and an important recognition that we must document, preserve and pass along such an important history of social change. It frames our past and ultimately impacts the future," said Vicki Crawford, director of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection.

Much of the College's King Celebration activities aptly took place in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.

There, Eboo Patel, founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core (an international organization that promotes interfaith cooperation) started out the month of activities with his 11 a.m. speech during the Jan. 12 Martin Luther King Jr. Crown Forum. Patel also is a member of President Barack Obama's inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.

A community wide multi-faith worship service also was held in King Chapel at 6 p.m. on Jan. 15. Representatives from the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faiths commemorated King with a special worship service that included music and dance.

"We wanted to use a series of events to look at King as an interfaith pioneer," said Roy Craft, the Chapel's executive director. "We also looked historically at Benjamin E. Mays and Howard Thurman '29 as interfaith pioneers during their eras. What we also are doing is making Morehouse a catalyst in bringing together representatives of other Atlanta campuses to look at the importance of getting the next generation of leaders to have a sensitivity and awareness of the importance of developing skills across these big differences that interfaith presents. That's the world young people live in and that's the world they are going to have to work in."

For the first time, one of the College's signature King Celebration activities wasn't held in King Chapel.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's "A King Celebration" Concert, a musical tribute to King, was held on Jan. 12 at the Atlanta Symphony Hall to commemorate the event's 20th anniversary. The Morehouse and Spelman glee clubs performed, along with world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Back at Morehouse, President Robert M. Franklin '75 and Ambassador Andrew Young hosted a screening of one of Young's documentaries, "Crossing in St. Augustine," on Jan. 26 at 4:30 p.m. in the Bank of America Auditorium. Immediately afterwards, the two discussed the film and Young's civil rights work with King.

Students also commemorated King's legacy through public service. The Bonner Office of Community Service annually sponsors a Community Day of Service in which students did everything from building bookshelves to spreading mulch at Atlanta area sites such as Boyd Elementary School, the APEX Museum and the Grant Park Conservancy. Students came together that afternoon to talk about their experiences and how they relate to King's vision.

Other events during the King Celebration month included a theatrical production, a literary cafe and a presentation on the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection.

For a full schedule of activities for the 2012 Morehouse College King Celebration, go to http://www.morehouse.edu/kingcollection/index.php.