The University of Louisville Cultural Center will host a variety of events Jan. 15-Jan. 19 to mark MLK Week 2018. The annual week-long series of events are planned to honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and “educate the UofL campus and community on the importance of actualizing Dr. King’s ideals of social justice, non-violence, education and service.”
The week kicks off Monday, Jan. 15, with the MLK Day of Service. Legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the MLK Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service. It is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. The UofL community will participate in the “day on, not a day off” event Monday at various sites throughout the city. Students will meet at 8:30 a.m. in Strickler Hall. This event is sponsored by the Engage, Lead, Serve Board.
The African American Theatre Program’s annual MLK Celebration is at 1 p.m. Jan. 15, with a staged reading of “Free Lunch,”a piece written by Troy Johnson. More information is available online.
The Louisville Bus Civil Rights Tour is Jan. 16, with a 12:10 p.m. departure from the Cultural Center. The City of Louisville was an active site during the Civil Rights Movement. This tour explores how the 20th-century civil rights movement changed lives at the South’s northern border for African Americans and also for whites and, now, for the new immigrants who are bringing greater cultural diversity in the 21st century. Registration for the free tour can be done online.
On Wednesday, Jan. 17, a film screening of “American Experience: Freedom Riders,” will be shown at 5:30 p.m. in Chao Auditorium of Ekstrom Library. In 1961, segregation seemed to have an overwhelming grip on American society. That is, until an integrated band of college students – many of whom were the first in their families to attend a university – decided, en masse, to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South. They called themselves the Freedom Riders and this movie tells their story.
For the full list of MLK Week events, go online.