Ivy Tech Fort Wayne invites students, community to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with mural dedication

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne’s Office of Student Life is hosting a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural Rededication Ceremony open to students and the public Wednesday, Jan. 18 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Student Life Center (3701 Dean Drive). The MLK mural was recently reimagined by the college’s Visual Communications program.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Mural in the Student Life Center

The rededication is also being made possible through efforts of the college’s Diversity Council and the new Black Student Union (BSU). BSU’s president, members of the Visual Communications department, and campus leadership will give speeches during the ceremony.

Afterwards, everyone is invited to a free lunch in the college’s Student Life Commons that includes pulled meat sandwiches (chicken, pork, and beef), chips, beans, and more. Attendees may also receive a stuffed bear with an MLK quote t-shirt.

For more about the event, you can visit Student Life’s website.

WHEN:

Noon to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 18

WHERE:

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne North Campus

Student Life Center

3701 Dean Dr.

Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Calling all artists! Have you submitted to the MLK Jr. Legacy Project yet?

Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at the Montgomery March. (Photo courtesy PhotosForClass.com)

Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at the Montgomery March. (Photo courtesy PhotosForClass.com)

Ivy Tech is giving away three scholarships for artwork entered into the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Project, an ARTivism exhibition to honor King’s legacy.

ARTivism is artwork that doubles as activism, meant to increase awareness on a particular topic. Project submissions are juried and will be featured in a traveling exhibit at Ivy Tech campuses throughout the state during January and February. Entries are due by noon Nov. 18 to the Student Life office. Find full project details online.

The top three pieces will receive scholarships: $400 for first place, $300 for second, and $200 for third.

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Beringer

The project celebrates King, the activist who led the Civil Rights Movement, which started in the mid 1960s as an  effort for black citizens to secure their right to vote without roadblocks, but the struggle for equality is still alive today, seen most notably in the Black Lives Matter movement, says Lisa Beringer, an Ivy Tech Northeast assistant sociology professor. Beringer studies the ways black “writers and thinkers use non-violent means to resist the persistent presence of racism and discrimination,” and she shares a post with us to tell why King’s history and legacy is still not just important—but vital.


King did not start the Civil Rights Movement alone: He was part of a larger coalition of people and groups seeking non-violent responses to the denial of civil rights. King’s organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, worked in conjunction with the Alabama Voting Rights Project and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the effort to secure the vote promised under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

After months of planning, the groups decided to march from Selma to Montgomery to ask for legislation that would protect the right to vote at the local and state levels. On March 7, 1965, 600 marchers set out across the Edmond Pettis Bridge, only to be met with violence by the police in what would come to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Click on images to zoom and for caption info.

The next day, King spoke on the need for courage.

“Deep down in our non-violent creed is the conviction there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they’re worth dying for. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.”

King implored the people sitting in the pews of the church to stand against fear, to stand for justice or risk being dead in spirit.

“So we’re going to stand up amid horses. We’re going to stand up right here in Alabama, amid the billy-clubs. We’re going to stand up right here in Alabama amid police dogs, if they have them. We’re going to stand up amid tear gas. We’re going to stand up amid anything they can muster up, letting the world know that we are determined to be free.”

Martin Luther King Jr., and Harry Belafonte at the Montgomery March. (Photo courtesy PhotosForClass.com)

Martin Luther King Jr., and Harry Belafonte at the Montgomery March. (Photo courtesy PhotosForClass.com)

The following day, King and the protestors set out again, but King stopped the march when he grew worried about their safety. Later that night, James Reeb, a Unitarian minister who had traveled to Selma to march in solidarity, was murdered. King worked to secure the safety of those organized by the three civil rights groups to march without retribution.

Finally, on March 21, under the protection of the National Guard, 2,000 people began the long march to Montgomery. They walked for five days, 12 hours a day, until they reached their destination on March 25 and were greeted by 50,000 supporters. Their push to demand the vote was finally acknowledged with the passage of the Voting Rights Act, signed into law on Aug. 6, 1965. Through their commitment to non-violent protest, the groups were able to prompt Congress to enact legislation that upheld the right of black Americans to vote at the federal, state, and local level.

Today, black Americans continue to stand up and resist the institutional practices of racism and discrimination. King’s legacy of non-violent resistance can be most notably found in the present-day movement Black Lives Matter. Leaders of this new civil rights effort are working to further equality for blacks who continue to experience unequal treatment and economic disparities that often result in violence. This new civil rights movement—an extension of that which came before—is working toward a variety of goals:

  • To foster inclusion and discussion between seemingly disparate groups
  • To create restorative justice and place these actions within a global context
  • To include of issues of gender, sexual orientation, disability, poverty, and immigrant status experienced by the diverse community of black Americans

Click on images to zoom. (Photos courtesy PhotosForClass.com.)

As if to echo King’s call for bravery in the face of fear, Black Lives Matter claims the following principle: “Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”

Through the power of social media, these present day civil rights activists are able to overcome the limits set by geographic boundaries in order to facilitate peaceful resistance, and hopefully social change, in the modern moment.

Ivy Tech Northeast to host a tribute for Martin Luther King, Jr. for College, community

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast will host Interpreting the Dream, a Martin Luther King, Jr., tribute, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Student Life Center gymnasium on North Campus (3701 Dean Drive).

This is the 11th year the college has held the event to share King’s message of unity, love, peace, and hope, said Diana Jackson, assistant director of Diversity Affairs.

“Although he is best known as an icon of the civil rights movement, Dr. King spoke about society as a better place,” Jackson said. “As an educational institution, we should all be committed to being relevant agents of change, aspiring to be kind and good, and making a difference to mankind as he did.”

The event—which is open to students, faculty, and the general public—will feature James Williams as the keynote speaker. Williams is a local life coach and speaks on mental health awareness.

The event will also feature:

  • Voices of Inspiration, from Pilgrim Baptist Church
  • Poetry by Teresa Vazquez Hall, the chair of Ivy Tech Northeast’s Humanities program
  • Dance by Sam Julius, an instructor at American Style Ballroom
  • And more

James Williams is a contract employee for Crime Victim Care of Fort Wayne, a volunteer multicultural specialist for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and a facilitator for the Mental Health Workshop of the Multicultural Council of Greater Fort Wayne. He has worked professionally with entertainers including Al Green, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, Chicago, and James Brown. He also served as manager and producer for Cynda Williams, a professional actor/singer and Williams’ niece. Currently, he has done work in the theater, serving as director, actor, and singer in productions around the world, including being voted best male actor in an Irish international amateur theater competition.