GREENVILLE, S.C.—Furman University students, faculty and staff will be involved in a number of events honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during January and February.
Under the theme “Building the Beloved Community: In Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.,” the commemoration will include an informal conversation between Furman history professor Courtney Tollison and the Rev. James Hall, who is widely considered to be the “godfather” of Greenville’s civil rights movement.
The lunch lecture will take place Friday, Feb. 11 at 12 p.m. in the Watkins Room of the University Center on campus.
Some of Greenville’s earliest civil rights activities in the 1950s were led by Hall, then pastor of Springfield Baptist Church. In 1960, Hall, along with the local NAACP, marshaled a high-profile effort to challenge segregation laws in the city. About 1,000 protestors marched on the downtown airport for having a “whites only” waiting room, an event spurred by the airport’s refusal to allow baseball great Jackie Robinson access to the facility.
A host of other events are part of the “Building the Beloved Community” tribute.
-- Youth Empowerment Day is Friday, Jan. 14, 4-7 p.m. at the Freetown Community Center.
-- The MLK 5K Unity Race and One-Mile Walk benefitting the Lupus Foundation is Saturday, Jan. 15, 9-11 a.m. at the Furman Amphitheater.
-- The 2011 MLK Scholarship Gala is a fundraiser event sponsored by Gamma Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the nation’s first Greek-letter fraternity established by African-American college students. The gala takes place Sunday, Jan. 16 at 3 p.m. at Furman’s Younts Conference Center.
-- MLK Holiday, Monday, Jan. 17, all university offices are closed.
-- Day of Service Blood Drive is Wednesday, Jan. 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in Watkins Room, Furman University Center.
-- MLK Youth Program and College Fair is Saturday, Feb. 5, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Burgiss Theater and Watkins Room, Furman University Center.
-- Lunch Lecture with Rev. James Hall is Friday, Feb. 11, 12-1:30 p.m. in the Watkins Room, Furman University Center.
-- An Oratorical Contest (in partnership with the City of Greenville) is Saturday, Feb. 19, 10 a.m. at Burgiss Theater, Furman University Center.