Martin Luther King Jr. Day was officially celebrated on Monday, but West Chester University will hold its annual celebration on Friday, Jan. 25, after students, faculty, and staff have returned to campus for the spring semester.
The day begins at 10 AM with the 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Brunch, a scholarship fundraiser hosted by the university and the Frederick Douglass Society, in Sykes Student Union Ballrooms. The event celebrates Dr. King’s life and legacy through images, spoken word, performances, and music with the WCU Gospel Choir, and honors WCU alumni whose professional lives and vocational activities have reflected Dr. King’s ideals.
This year, the Drum Major for Justice honoree is Darren Lipscomb, the Director of Outreach, Recruitment, and Enrollment Services at Delaware County Community College.
As a student at WCU, Lipscomb was president of the Black Men United student organization for nearly two and a half years and served on the Multicultural Recruitment Team and Student Activities Council. He was named Citizen Leader of the Year in his senior year.
Recently, Lipscomb – who is also a veteran, having served from 2003 to 2010 as an Intelligence Analyst in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard – was also appointed to chair the Mayor’s Commission on African-American Males for the City of Philadelphia.
The title Drum Major for Justice is taken from a sermon Dr. King delivered two months before his assassination on April 4, 1968. In that sermon, Dr. King spoke about his life and how he wanted to be remembered:
“If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. … If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness.”
The activity continues at 7 PM with a free presentation of The Hate You Give. Based on the bestselling novel by Angie Thomas, this film captures the journey of a young African-American woman after she witnesses her best friend being killed by police. The film will be shown in Sykes Theater.
Additionally, on Thursday, Jan. 31, the university’s Office of Service Learning and Volunteer Programs is coordinating a service project to make no-sew blankets for children at Nemours A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital, patients at Abramson Cancer Center at Chester County Hospital, and “Fleece for Keeps” for children in foster care. Two sessions are scheduled: 12:30-2 PM and 2:30-4 PM in Sykes Student Union Ballroom. Members of the university community can register by clicking here.
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