Bereans prepare for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observance

As Martin Luther King, Jr. Day approaches, members of the Berea community are joining with Berea College in preparing activities for this annual observance on Monday, January 18. The crowd will begin assembling at 10:00 a.m. at Union Church for the traditional march, which will start at 10:30 a.m., proceeding to Presser Hall on Chestnut Street.

At 11:00 a.m., a performance of the Fannie Lou Hamer Story: A One-Woman Play will be presented by Mzuri Moyo Aimbaye in Gray Auditorium. Ms. Aimbaye is a virtuoso singer, actress and performing artist who brings to the stage the life-struggles and accomplishments of Mississippi-born Fannie Lou Hamer. Known for her oft-quoted remark, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Hamer was a force in the civil rights movement, particularly encouraging African-Americans to register to vote.

A convocation featuring Lateefah Simon speaking about “Changing the Future” will begin at 3:00 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel. Simon is noted for presenting messages of hope to those struggling to overcome poverty and discrimination. After the convocation, a Speaker Reception will be held at the Carter G. Woodson Center for Interracial Education, located in the Alumni Building.

The day’s events are presented by the Woodson Center and co-sponsored with the following Berea College and community organizations: Office of the President, Black Cultural Center, Berea College Music Program, Berea College Theatre Program, Information Systems and Services, Union Church, Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service and the Willis D. Weatherford, Jr., Campus Christian Center.


Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.