Anderson, Indiana

AU to remember MLK through service and celebration

Mon, 2012-01-09 08:00 -- univcomm
January 9, 2012

Anderson University will suspend classes on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, for a day of service to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

mlk-poster12"Martin Luther King Jr. was a prophet, and like all prophets he challenged the status quo," said Stuart Erny, director of campus ministries. "This year at AU we want to emphasize Rev. King's core allegiance to non-violence, which he viewed as the approach required by a faithful following of Jesus." [Photo on left: Anderson College Civil Rights March, 1965.]

The day of service will include a “Civil Rights Era” display located in Reardon Auditorium lobby featuring children’s books, a civil rights timeline, DVDs of King’s speeches, a special reenactment and other activities.

This year’s reenactment will focus on the Montgomery bus boycott. Entitled “The Back Seat: Then and Now,” the reenactment will link historical content with current situations. This artistic endeavor was written by Rev. Nichele Washington. Dr. James Lewis, School of Theology associate dean and professor of Christian theology and ethics, will be facilitating. The event will be at 10:25 a.m. in the bottom level of Decker Hall.

Various service projects and campus activities will start at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Anderson University will also join the city of Anderson in a collective walk to the Paramount Theatre for the city-wide MLK Jr. celebration.

The day concludes with a free showing for the campus and public at Reardon Auditorium of “Soundtrack for a Revolution," a documentary that chronicles the civil rights movement through song. At 6:30 p.m., AU President Dr. James L. Edwards will facilitate a candlelight vigil at the Eternal Flame in front of Decker Hall.

The day will be celebrated as a day of service for the institution, with classes and other administrative activities canceled until 5 p.m. Monday evening classes will meet as usual.

"I'm always amazed when I hear about my parents' and grandparents' commitment to justice and steadfast belief that love truly conquers all," said Michelle Williams, assistant dean of students and director of multicultural student services. "This is the message that Dr. King was preaching. Love trumps violence, bigotry, and hate."

A full schedule for the service day on Monday, Jan. 16, is listed below, and may also be viewed in PDF format. To volunteer for the service day, see the volunteer schedule [PDF] for more information.


Monday, January 16, 2012

  • 9 - 11 a.m. Various Service Projects (Sign-up to serve [PDF])
  • 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. "Civil Rights Era" booth displays (Reardon Lobby)
  • 10:25 a.m. - 11:25 a.m. Montgomery Bus Boycott Reenactment (Bottom of Decker)
  • 11:30 a.m. Collective Walk (Meet at Reardon and walk to Paramount Theatre) Anderson City Community invited to partner with AU community in a walk to the Paramount Theatre celebration. Transportation from Paramount Theatre is available.
  • 12 - 1:30 p.m. City-wide MLK Jr. Celebration (Paramount Theatre)
  • 2 - 4 p.m. Various Service Projects (Sign-up to serve [PDF])
  • 5 - 6:30 p.m. Evening Film, "Soundtrack For a Revolution" (Reardon Auditorium) - chapel credit given
  • 6 p.m. Candlelight Vigil (Eternal Flame)
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
  • 11 a.m. MLK Jr. Chapel with special guest Elder Anne Henning-Byfield, (Reardon Auditorium)

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, there will be a special chapel in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with guest speaker Elder Anne Henning-Byfield. Byfield lives a life filled with creativity and passion as a psalmist, a poet, motivational speaker, preacher, spoken word artist, strategic consultant, writer, composer, wife, mother, and grandmother. Known for her unique brand of leadership, presentation style, humor, and passion for living, Byfield leads by example, inspires, and develops others to lead their best life. A multi-talented individual, she has worked in diversity management, research, training, and development. She has a gift for combining multiple mediums with a unique approach to leadership and change.

Byfield wrote the litany for Rosa Parks’ funeral in Detroit, Mich., and Congresswoman Julia Carson’s funeral in Indianapolis. She performs in many spoken word settings and is producing a spoken word CD. Her book of poetry, The Essence of my Existence, is scheduled to be released in March, and Issuing A New Press Release, a book on leadership, will soon be published. For a full bio, visit the chapel page on the AU MLK website.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.