Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 21, 2013

Goshen College in 20th year of honoring service of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

GOSHEN — Today marks the 20th anniversary of the annual MLK Study Day at Goshen College.

A day reserved for celebrating the life and legacy of famed human rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the college’s MLK Study Day has evolved over the years from a single day of remembrance to an annual catalyst in the continued examination and exploration of who the man was, what he cared about, who he has influenced and how those individuals and groups are currently working to change the world for the better.

“More and more in this country, I think there is a growing emphasis on the resonance of the message, not just the specific day... an exploration of how his message can have a greater, lasting impact,” said GC Director of Public Relations Richard Aguirre. “For a lot of our students, they’ve grown up with that message, so I think the evolution of MLK Day at GC is both societal, and also has to do with the resonance of Martin Luther King Jr. with the Mennonite faith, and incorporating his life and legacy as a teaching opportunity and incorporating that into what students are encountering in college and how the whole commemoration can have more meaning than just that one day.”

As an example, Aguirre noted how the college decided to get a jump-start on its MLK Day events this year by hosting a full-length screening of the documentary “A Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed” by filmmaker Dr. Wilbert Smith on both Tuesday and Sunday. Smith, one of two keynote speakers headlining MLK Day this year, was also introduced to the public early during a special conversation with the community on health care and race at the college’s Umble Center Sunday evening.

Joining Smith as a keynote speaker this year is author Dana Johnson, whose original work exploring themes of race, identity and alienation were also showcased early this year during a special reading at the college’s Newcomer Center Saturday evening.

Smith and Johnson are just the latest in a long list of accomplished and influential leaders to have graced the GC stage since MLK Day’s inception 20 years ago. Others who have shared their stories and insights with the college community over the years include: African-American religious historian Dr. Quinton Dixie and Latino fiction writer Manuel Luis Martinez; Mennonite African-American singer Tony Brown and poet Brenda Cárdenas; the professional theater group Asante Children’s Theatre (ACT) of Indianapolis; Dr. Vincent Harding, a Mennonite associate of Martin Luther King Jr.; and the Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, a distinguished veteran of the civil rights movement and close associate of Martin Luther King Jr.

“Really I think our main goal with MLK Day is just for people to pause and remember Martin Luther King Jr., what he did, what he believed, and how he acted on his faith,” Aguirre said. “I think our next major goal is for people to know what he cared about, and what the people that influenced him cared about, and how that is still very relevant today in trying to create a world where there is no discrimination and no inequality.”

Current work

What’s more, Aguirre said there is also the important goal of communicating the knowledge that there is still work to be done and that people today can make a difference if they put their minds to it.

Along those lines, GC Assistant Director of Diverse Student Support Sophie Metzger noted that the college currently has two projects in the works designed to extend the spirit of MLK Day throughout the year.

The first, a nationally recognized project known as the 40 Days of Peace initiative, involves a pledge to perform a daily act of peace each day for those 40 days. This year, however, GC staff decided to make the initiative a little more personal by crafting it to better mirror this year’s MLK Day theme, “Shalom: That we may be whole,”,shalom being the Hebrew word for peace.

“We found that the 40 days were written very generically to fit a national audience,” Metzger said, “so this year we rewrote them and renamed it 40 Days of Shalom. So it’s that idea of starting peace within the person and kind of spiralling out to affect a much larger base.”

GC students this year will also be creating a special peace quilt over the next few weeks that draws on the MLK Day shalom theme.

“Basically how it will work is the students will cut out pieces of fabric and ask people to write a word or symbol on them involving their own interpretation of the word shalom,” Metzger said. “The fabric pieces will then be placed on a quilt with a purple background and a white peace sign that once completed will be displayed during Goshen’s Peace Week this coming March.”

Fabric pieces will be available for decoration by students and members of the public following today’s MLK Day convocation, Metzger said, adding that additional fabric decoration opportunities will also be available at designated work stations across the campus throughout the week.

For more information on today’s MLK Day events, visit the college website at http://www.goshen.edu.


Text Only
Local News
  • GN140723 fair senior day 02 4-H FAIR: Senior citizens enjoy day despite temps GOSHEN — It was a warm day Tuesday, but that didn’t stop hundreds of senior citizens from stopping by for a snack and a walk through the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140723 fair shuffle board 02 4-H Fair: Shuffleboard tourney a source of fun GOSHEN — A little friendly banter could be heard among the shuffleboard players as they competed at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds Tuesday afternoon.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charlotte.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Cats and dogs at the Humane Society of Elkhart County looking for loving, permanent homes. This month the HSEC has a Hot Dogs and Cool Cats special. Adopt in July and receive 25 percent off your adoption fee for dogs and cats under 5 years old or 50 percent off those 5-years-old or better.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140723 Sanders fair faces FAIR FACES: Austin Sanders enjoys success, versatility as 10-year 4-Her

    It’s tough to say in which Elkhart County 4-H Fair livestock barn you’re most likely to find 10-year 4-H member Austin Sanders.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Goshen City Hall GOSHEN BOARD OF WORKS: Gravel lot approved for Forest River

    GOSHEN — The employee parking areas for a new manufacturing facility within the Century Drive Industrial Park on Goshen’s south side will be allowed to remain unpaved, though that doesn’t mean the city has to like it.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140722 fair food drive 03 Fair's food drive falls short of world record, but is still a success

    For a 24-hour period, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair “All IN” food drive committee attempted a “Guinness Book of World Records” for the largest single-day food drive. Their goal: 560,000 pounds of food collected from 1 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Monday.

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • GN140722 fair special needs awareness 02 Many enjoy Disabilities Awareness Day at the fair

    Barry Malone stepped off the Orient Express roller coaster ride, grinning. “That I was fun. I liked that,” Malone said with a laugh. “That was a good ride, too.” Malone attended the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Monday and participated in the Disabilities Awareness Day activities and events at Heritage Park, just inside the main gate.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN131016 county commissioners ELKHART COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: Volume cranked up on noise violators

    Elkhart County Commissioners Monday approved the adoption of an ordinance amending the current Elkhart County Noise Ordinance to include stricter penalties for repeat violators.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts