For the first time in its 28-year history, West Chester University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will be virtual due to the pandemic.
On Friday, Jan. 29, the online program will be offered free to the public, as well as to campus constituents, with ceremonies beginning at 10 AM. The date was chosen to accommodate students, faculty, and staff as the spring semester begins on Jan. 25. Register for the event by clicking here.
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, there are two Drum Major for Justice honorees:
- Courtland Bragg (Class of 2014), a two-time Emmy Award-winning associate producer, independent filmmaker, and public speaker
- Deidre Gray (Class of 1992), who serves on the WCU Alumni Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee, is chapter liaison for the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and president of the Black Alumni Chapter
The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Brunch, hosted by the university and The Society (formerly the Frederick Douglass Society), has been a sell-out fundraiser for scholarships for the past 27 years.
Without a live event this year, in lieu of ticket sales, donations are being accepted for the scholarships on a secure website. The cut-off date for donations is March 1.
“One of the things I find most remarkable about Dr. King is that whether he was faced with a small act of evil or a great injustice, he did not become bitter, he simply became more resolute,” said WCU President Christopher Fiorentino. “He continued to speak out against inequality until the day he died, felled by an assassin’s bullet.”
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, … 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.”