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Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his, “I Have a Dream,” speech on Aug. 28, 1963. Weber State University commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 16. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Weber State University celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. day with a breakfast on Jan. 16, entailing breakfast at the Marshall White Center and a panel of speakers chosen based on some of the work each has accomplished in the community, as well as a freedom walk to the Ogden City Amphitheater.

“Martin Luther King day, to me, is a day where we can take a step back and reflect on the progress that our country has made and really recognize the beauty that is in everybody’s differences,” said Danielle Collier, chair of special service events at WSU. “It’s a good day to teach the youth of today about the importance of inclusivity, respect and values. … It is not just a day off work. It is a day to remember Martin Luther King, what he stood for and what his values were: love, respect and equality.”

Collier called students and community members to action by asking them to serve during the week by participating in the events that are happening on the WSU campus. “We want everyone to be involved in these events,” said Collier.

Betty Sawyer, adviser for Black Scholars United, addressed the audience, saying, “As we see everyone here today, that is a testament to the energy that can be harvested to do the work that we need to do. We need to move on from having the breakfast and roll up our sleeves and remind everyone that there is work that needs to be done.”

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Weber State University students volunteer to serve breakfast at the Marshall White Center's Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast on Jan. 16. (Source: Melisa Gonzalez)

Angelyn McKelley, a member of the Order of the Eastern Star who volunteered to help set up for the event that morning, said, “We try to help the community as much as we can through events like this. The struggle and the mission that Martin Luther King was on with civil rights, are still a movement that should be supported today in 2017 more than ever.”

Sawyer has been part of the MLK breakfast and freedom walk for over 20 years.

“Dr. King’s day means a time for all of us to come together to reflect on his life and his legacy and to recommit ourselves to doing the work that is needed to keep the dream alive and to also make our communities and state a better place,” said Sawyer.

Sawyer explained that by looking at the theme of the event, in service and in being one community that will keep Dr. King’s legacy alive. “I will leave with a quote from Dr. King that says, ‘Everyone can be great because everyone can serve,’” Sawyer said.

McKelley, who echoed Sawyer’s comments, said, “For Dr. King’s legacy to live on, I think people need to be open minded. I believe this is not just a holiday for African Americans but a holiday for the people.”

The event was a collaboration between the Marshall White Center, UServe Utah, WSU Diversity Team, NAACP, Black Scholars United and the Service Team.

For more information on Special Services events contact Danielle Collier at daniellecollier@weber.edu, and for information about BSU contact bettysawyer@weber.edu

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