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AU to celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day with service and reflection

Students march over the Eighth Street Bridge on MLK Day 2017

Anderson, Ind. -- On Monday, Jan. 15, Anderson University will celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a day of service projects and opportunities for reflection and hands-on learning. Classes will be suspended for the day. The celebration will also continue on Tuesday, Jan. 16, with an MLK Jr. chapel and the opening of the PACT Lecture series at 7 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 15, will include the traditional Anderson University participation in the city-wide MLK Jr. Day celebration at the Paramount Theatre. Students can take advantage of the shuttle service from Olt Student Center every 15 minutes between 11:30 a.m.  and 12:45 p.m. The citywide celebration will conclude with the annual Peace and Justice March from Paramount Theatre to Reardon Auditorium.

One of the new elements of this year’s celebration is "A Day in 1960: Then and Now What.” Michael Thigpen, director of the cultural resource center, says, “This simulation explores the challenges of the 1960s and the systemic effects on our current society. Participants will be given tools to identify microaggressions and combat them.”

On Tuesday, the chapel will host the Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word, a group of African-American males ages 8-18 who study the art of performance poetry as an active tool to keep them focused in their schools and community. Their performances combine classic poetry, movement poetry, and spoken word. They have performed throughout the state of Ohio at churches and community events, including half-time shows for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ basketball team.

Photo of PACT Lecturer, Arno MichaelisConcluding the events on Tuesday will be the opening of the PACT lecture series at 7 p.m. The Peace and Conflict Transformation (PACT) program seeks to build bridges of understanding and compassion. This four-part series is an opportunity to hear from those who have devoted their lives to educating others on forgiveness and reconciliation.

The first PACT speaker is Arno Michaelis. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Michaelis was a founding member of a notorious worldwide racist skinhead organization, a reverend of a self-declared racial holy war, and frontman of the hate-metal band Centurion. The love for his daughter and the forgiveness shown by people he once hated helped to turn his life around, bringing him to embrace diversity and practice gratitude.

A full schedule of the celebration is listed below and may also be viewed on the MLK Day website. To learn more about the PACT Lecture Series or the PACT program, visit the PACT website or contact Tom Tijerina.

Monday, Jan. 15

  • 11 a.m. “The Gathering” in Miller Chapel, an introduction to the day
  • 11:30 a.m. Shuttle service from Olt Student Center to citywide celebration at the Paramount Theatre. Shuttle departs every 15 minutes until 12:45 p.m.
  • Noon-1:30 p.m. Citywide MLK Jr. Day Celebration, Paramount Theatre
  • 1:30 p.m. Peace and Justice March from Paramount Theatre to Reardon Auditorium
  • 2:30-3 p.m. Free pizza lunch
  • 3-4:30 p.m. “A Day in 1960: Then and Now What?” Decker 133
  • 3-5 p.m. Service Projects (sign up at anderson.edu/mlk)
  • 3-6 p.m. Prayer Labyrinth (come and go event), Nicholson Library
  • 5-6:30 p.m. “A Day in 1960: Then and Now What?” second session, Decker 133
  • 7 p.m. Free viewing of the movie “Hidden Figures,” Reardon Auditorium, Sponsored by Nicholson Library

Tuesday, Jan. 16

  • 11 a.m. Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word, Reardon Auditorium
  • 7 p.m. Opening PACT Lecture: Arno Michaelis, Reardon Auditorium

Anderson University is a private, liberal arts institution in Anderson, Indiana with a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service in the church and society. Anderson University is recognized among top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, Colleges of Distinction, and The Princeton Review. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university now offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music education, and theology.

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