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Villanova Celebrates Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke at Villanova University on January 20, 1965.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke at Villanova University on January 20, 1965. Pictured above (left to right) is Villanova student body president Thomas J. Furst, along with Dr. King and the Rev. John A. Klekotka, OSA, Villanova University President (1959-65).

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University will celebrate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a series of academic programs, keynote addresses and service opportunities Jan. 21-24, that honor the life and work of the iconic civil rights advancement leader.

On Monday, Jan. 21 – the federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – members of the Villanova University community will participate in the 2013 MLK Day of Service.  Volunteers will serve at numerous sites throughout Greater Philadelphia, including Arch Street Methodist Church, Veterans Comfort House and Caring People Alliance. The University’s participation in the MLK Day of Service is coordinated by the Center for Multicultural Affairs, Office of Student Development, and the Center for Peace and Justice Education.

“Our mission is to make certain that each volunteer is educated about the adversity faced by those we serve, along with the truth that together we can create change,” notes Villanova University’s Martin Luther King Day of Service Committee. “We want our volunteers to finish their day of service with a sense of awareness that transforms the way they see the world.”

The Villanova University School of Law (VLS) community will volunteer Jan. 21 at the Arc of Philadelphia, which provides advocacy, referral, family support and legislative action services to people with disabilities and their families. VLS volunteers will be painting, cleaning and doing additional maintenance work on site at the Arc of Philadelphia.

The Law School’s MLK events continue Jan. 22 with a keynote address by Taunya Lovell Banks, Jacob A. France Professor of Equality Jurisprudence at Francis King Carey School of Law, University of Maryland. The lecture, sponsored by Pepper Hamilton, LLP, will be held at the Law School (Room 102) at 5 p.m.

On Jan. 23, the Center for Peace and Justice Education presents the University’s 2013 MLK Keynote Address by Sonya Douglass Horsford, EdD, senior resident scholar of education with The Lincy Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she focuses on the history of education in the U.S., politics of education, and role of schools in society. Dr. Horsford’s keynote address is entitled “Learning in the World House: Educational Equality and Justice in the Post-Civil Rights Era.” The event, free and open to the public, begins at 4:30 p.m., in the Villanova Room of The Connelly Center.

On Jan. 23 from 3 to 5 p.m., VLS will host a screening of “African Violet,” a 2008 film based on the civil rights lawsuit Regina Kelly v. John Paschall.  A roundtable discussion on racial profiling and civil rights will follow the movie at 5:30 p.m.

Additionally, Villanova will host its annual Freedom School program in observance of the memory and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Thursday, Jan. 24. Freedom School sessions are taught by Villanova faculty, staff and students and cover a variety of discussion topics, including human rights, racism, immigration, globalization, education and social justice. Sessions are scheduled for 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., in the University’s Connelly Center. Click here for descriptions of the various sessions.

“It is crucial that we continue to work to extend the vision and mission of MLK for a more beloved community and just world,” said Carol Anthony, Associate Director of the Center for Peace and Justice Education.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.