Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration expected to draw hundreds of participants

Yvonne Rhodes | January 17, 2019

The evening of Tuesday, January 22, Texas State University will host the 35th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr Commemoration Celebration on the San Marcos Campus.

The celebration begins at 6:30 p.m. with a short march from the LBJ Student Center outdoor mall area to the LBJSC Ballroom. In the ballroom, a student-led program will begin at 7:15, featuring performances by singers, dancers and poets, and an address by Texas State University President Denise Trauth. The event is open to the community. 

Jonnie Wilson, the assistant director of the university’s Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, has been coordinating the annual event for 18 years. Although the event is facilitated by Student Diversity and Inclusion, it is planned and executed primarily by Texas State students. This year, she says, the event will be more student-led than ever before. 

“The students have a committee that comes up with ideas, they choose the theme, design the promotional material, and students are the majority of the speakers and performers on the program,” said Jonnie Wilson. “It’s very multicultural, everybody comes out for it. That’s what I’ve always loved about it.”

The theme for this year’s event is, “This is Our Time.”

“The students were inspired by the fact that throughout history different people have had their time in history,” said Wilson. “They’re saying, it’s our time to be activists and lead the way.” 

This is the first year the celebration will feature poetry and dance exhibitions. The university hosted a poetry contest and chose winners to be featured at the event.

In previous years, the event included a march across the San Marcos Campus – from Old Main to the LBJ Student Center – but due to ongoing construction on campus the march was significantly shortened to extend from outside the LBJ Student Center to the interior of the LBJSC Ballroom.

Approximately 500 people have attended this event in years past. Last year’s theme was, "New Generation of Hope: The Fight for Freedom."

Event sponsors include Student Diversity and Inclusion, Vice President-Student Affairs Office, 2019 MLK Commemoration Committee, Department of Housing and Residential Life, Dean of Students, Counseling Center, Office of Disability Services, Center for Diversity and Gender Studies Multicultural Programming Committee, Underrepresented Student Advisory Council, and the LBJ Student Center.

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For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922