Weeklong celebrations honor MLK’s legacy

Following Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16, Coastal Carolina University is hosting an array of events throughout the week from Jan. 17 to Jan. 26.

This year’s theme is Plant Your Roots: Community Engagement to Foster Growth.

Joshua Moore, director of Intercultural and Inclusion Student Services, said the focal point of this year’s theme is to encourage connection across differences.

“Plant your roots is really getting people to connect with where they are,” he said, “knowing that we’re all coming to Coastal Carolina University from different places.”

Moore said a large part of this theme is seeking and providing opportunities to continue the work Martin Luther King Jr. started. He said engaging the community is how they feel they will get growth and advancement.

Moore said the planning committee involved people across campus. Events such as the MLK Teach-ins also feature faculty and staff from a variety of departments.

“Individuals from Civic Engagement to various academic departments, as well as our office, some of our Student Affairs partners are also involved in our planning committee,” he said.

In addition to faculty, Moore said they have sought input from students as well.

“We had one student on our planning team, but we’ve also vetted some of our ideas through students that we serve
here at our office just to ensure that it’s attractive to things that they may want to do,” he said.

On the topic of types of events, junior Sydney Hudson, a junior, placed emphasis on involvement.

“I would say more interactive things are interesting,” she said.
Junior Chatham Brown agreed and added the importance of getting the word out.

“Instagram, Twitter, and other social media would get the word out,” she said. One decision rooted in student suggestion was the inclusion of Rabbi Sandra Lawson, which Moore said came from conversations they had with students over the last semester.

“We look at the parallels between racism and antisemitism, and we’re really looking at the root of both of those and how can we come together across differences to truly advance MLK’s work,” he said. “Rabbi Lawson is going to do a great job of helping connect those dots for us.”

Moore said that a key aspect of the celebration was not only recognizing the advancements that King made, but also showcasing his humanity. He said this motivated their inclusion of the stage play “The Myth, The Man,” by Ira Knight.

“I think a lot of times Dr. King is known for his speeches and the marches that he led and was in front of,” Moore said, “but we don’t really talk about the minister that he was, the humanitarian that he was, the father that he was, the husband that he was, and so this play is really going to let us see the human side of who he was through a theatrical presentation.”

Going forward, he said he is always thinking ahead of time, and that they would like to partner better with Conway in future celebrations.