Cornell College celebrates the life of MLK

The second week of Block 5 will be filled with events and gatherings on campus to celebrate the life and contributions of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

MLKThe icon of the civil rights movement visited the college on Oct. 15, 1962, talking to Cornellians in King Chapel. During that speech he said “…I am convinced that men hate each other because they fear each other. They fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other.”

The Intercultural Life Office (ICL) has teamed up with others on campus to organize events on MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 21, and throughout the week. The first day features an event that celebrates another famous speech.

Jan. 21:

5–5:45 p.m. MLK Speech and Vigil, Thomas Commons  Students, faculty, and staff gathered on Jan. 20 to celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a candlelight vigil, procession around campus, and ceremony in Allee Chapel.

Join the Office of Intercultural Life and the Office of Spiritual Life in recreating part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech, followed by a vigil led by the Rev. Catherine Quehl-Engel from Thomas Commons to Allee Chapel. This event is open to all Cornell and local community members.

9 a.m.–5 p.m. MLK Day of Service, Thomas Commons

Join the Cornell College Civic Engagement Office and Office of Intercultural Life in sewing heart pillows for University of Iowa cardiac surgery patients, making tie blankets for Hope Lodge cancer patients with Colleges Against Cancer, or sewing quilts for children in need through Project Linus with fabric donated by Helios Stitches N Stuff in Mount Vernon. This event is open to all Cornell and local community members.

Jan. 22:

11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Chop It Up Chats: Socioeconomic Posing & Sensitivity, Thomas Commons, Orange Carpet

ICL invites you to join them during the second Tuesday of each block over the lunch hour for a drop-in, student and Cornell community-driven dialogue about various topics of culture, diversity, and inclusion. During this discussion, participants will be sharing ideas and experiences regarding the sensitivities, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and societally-imposed “posing” of certain socioeconomic statuses. This event is open to all Cornell and local community members.

5:30–6:15 p.m. Poetry Contest and Student Literary and Advisory Board (SLAB) Poetry for Resistance, Van Etten-Lacey House

Join ICL and SLAB for a night of Poetry for Resistance. Poetry contest entrants will have their poems on display and read, followed by speakers discussing Poetry for Resistance. Winners of the poetry contest receive an Amazon gift card and will have their poems published in SLAB’s chapbook. This event is open to all Cornell and local community members.

Jan. 23:

11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. MLK Cultural Impact Walk-Through Symposium, Thomas Commons, Orange Carpet (UPDATE: Due to weather this event has been moved to Friday at 11 a.m.)

Join ICL in this self-directed walk-though symposium on the impact that MLK has had on various cultures across the U.S. and the world. This event is open to the Cornell College and greater local community. 

Jan. 24:

12–1 p.m. Radio Tribute, Thomas Commons

Listen on-air as ICL pays tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Power Hour Radio Show. Tune in to KRNL 89.7 FM.

6:30–7:30 p.m. Hilltop Chronicles, Thomas Commons, Zamora’s Market

The Social Justice Initiative (SJI) will host the third edition of the Hilltop Chronicles from 6:30–7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, in Zamora’s Market, featuring stories from staff member Mark Kendall and Cleo Sullivan ’21. They will be sharing stories of personal identity, purpose, and the discovery of why social justice matters.

Jan. 25:

5–6 p.m. MLK Trivia, Thomas Commons, Zamora’s Market

Get a team together and join ICL to test your MLK trivia knowledge. This event is open to the Cornell College and the greater local community.

6:30–8 p.m. MLK Week: Soul Food Dinner, Stoner House

Join ICL at Stoner House for a catered soul food dinner and a discussion of the importance of food, specifically soul food, in bringing together communities and conversations. This event is open to the Cornell College and greater local community. Please RSVP as seating is limited: