Courage over comfort

Line up for the 33rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Event

Shannan Lojeski, News Editor

While MLK Junior Day is on Monday Jan. 21, campus will celebrate Dr. King through two days of events Jan. 29 through Jan. 30. The 33rd Annual MLK Junior Commemorative will be held on Jan. 30 at 6 pm. in the University Center Hamilton Room. This year’s keynote speaker is The University of Texas at Austin’s Associate Professor Terrance L. Green, who will be presenting to campus students, faculty and staff.

Green is originally from Detroit, Mich. and currently teaches in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy at the UT Austin. He conducts research on urban school reform and socially and racially just community development.

LaVar Charleston, assistant vice chancellor for student diversity, engagement & success, reached out to his former colleague Green to speak at this year’s MLK Junior event.

“It is heartening to see the entire campus come together to contribute to this celebration” said Charleston. “Having Dr. Terrance Green as our keynote speaker adds additional value to our celebration as his research focuses on the relationship between educational leadership, schools and neighborhood-communities, with a focus on racial and educational equity.”

Green shared his excitement in coming to UW-W to connect with students and staff and members of the Whitewater community as well. He hopes to not only celebrate the legacy of MLK Junior, but to remind others to live out his legacy every day.

“As I’ve been preparing for my speech and reflecting on MLK Junior’s legacy, I’m reminded that we constantly have to use both our rearview mirror and windshield in our everyday lives. While the rearview mirror is absolutely important to look back and reflect on what we’ve done, we can’t solely rely on just the past but also look forward through our windshield toward action and change,” said Green. “Given the context that we live in today, how can we apply MLK Junior’s principles collectively and individually to our lives in 2019? That’s the question I want listeners to focus on.”

The Chancellor Committee on Inclusive Excellence along with Student Diversity, Engagement & Success (SDES) has prepared two days worth of events that welcome all students, faculty, staff and community participation.

On Tue. Jan. 29 from 9 am. to 11 am., there will be a reading of Dr. King’s letter from Birmingham Jail and a discussion to follow in the University Center room 269. At 5 pm., Assistant Professor of Political Science Eric Loepp will lead a panel discussion on comparing the social issues in the 1960s to now. Following the discussing will be a movie screening of Selma at 7 pm. in Summer’s Auditorium. Jan. 30 will include three sections of presentations by Dr. Green from 11 am. to 12:15 pm., 2 pm. to 3:15 pm., and a closing keynote speech at 6 pm.

“There really are some great things going on for both students and staff. We have two whole days of events lined up and ready for UW-W to enjoy,” said Chancellor Committee on Inclusive Excellence member Ozalle M. Toms.

“I want listeners to be ready both mentally and heartily to be encouraged and challenged by my speech on Jan. 30,” said Green. “Dr. King pushed us further as a society which is extremely important for social change today. I’m asking students to come fired up, ready to put their courage over their comfort, and expecting inspiration.”