Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration
When the College commemorates the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. each year, two major facets of the College’s mission coalesce in the same memorial celebration: the commitment “to assert the kinship of all people and to provide interracial education with a particular emphasis on understanding and equality among blacks and whites”; and the commitment “to stimulate understanding of the Christian faith and its many expressions and to emphasize the Christian ethic and the motive of service to others.” In the late 1970s, the Campus Christian Center intentionally worked to help the College fulfill these two commitments by beginning the Martin Luther Day, Jr. Celebration. The Campus Christian Center provided significant support for this program initially, and for many years, with funding from annual grants that the Center received for various ministries from the Dr. William M. Scholl Foundation. After the establishment of the Black Cultural Center (BCC) in 1983, this program became an integral feature of the service and work of the BCC, although the Campus Christian Center has continued to serve as the other primary co-sponsor of this program.
Currently, the Campus Christian Center, the Black Cultural Center, and the African and African-American Studies Program, with support from several other departments and student organizations, lead the College in co-sponsoring a series of events to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and to recognize its relationship to the historic mission of Berea College, in order to re-empower the community of Berea College and its sphere of influence with this vision of social justice.
The Commemoration of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. occurs during January each year. The annual commemoration includes a variety of events and activities, some of which follow:
- Service of worship and inspiration at Church of Christ, Union, in Berea, Kentucky;
- Community Luncheon following worship at Church of Christ, Union;
- Commemorative March from the steps of the church to Berea City Hall; and
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Convocation in Phelps Stokes Auditorium on the Berea College campus.