GOSHEN — The students at Goshen College wanted more. And this year, they got it.
Like they have for so many years before, the students and staff at Goshen College helped ring in Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a healthy lineup of events and gatherings geared toward celebrating the life and message of the renowned Civil Rights activist and leader.
However, this year, that lineup was significantly longer than in past years, stretching well into the evening hours — a fact due in large part to a vocal calling by the college’s student body for a more extensive celebration of MLK Day on campus.
“This year, having events throughout the whole day was a response to comments that we got in previous years from the students,” said Davonne Harris, diverse student program coordinator at GC, during a gathering of the GC Black Student Union Monday evening. “Typically the day kind of ends at lunch, so this year we really wanted to adjust to what students wanted, and students wanted to do more. So that’s why we decided to extend the event to include the whole day.”
Monday’s celebration of MLK Day began bright and early at 7:30 a.m. in the College Mennonite Church Fellowship Hall with the annual Community Breakfast featuring speaker State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki.
Following the breakfast, a Spoken-Word Coffeehouse and Talkback Session took place from 9 to 10 a.m. in the church fellowship hall, followed by Convocation from 10 to 11:20 a.m. at College Mennonite Church featuring the gospel choir Voices N Harmony and a talk by Anthony Brown about how perceptions of diversity have changed since his time at Goshen College.
Next up for the day’s festivities was a presentation of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech with small-table discussions from noon to 1 p.m. in the Westlawn Dining Hall.