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MLK 2009 Image

Martin Luther King, Jr.
spaceCommemorative Events
spaceJanuary 15-19, 2009
spaceColumbia Campus

The University of South Carolina will commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with three special events in January. This will mark the 26th consecutive year that the university has held a formal program to pay tribute to the late civil rights leader.

King Day activities begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, with the USC Black Law Students Association’s annual Legal Symposium at the School of Law Auditorium.The program will feature a panel discussion with former Chief Justice of the S.C. Supreme Court Ernest A. Finney, S.C. Supreme Court Justice Donald W. Beatty, and local attorney I.S Levy Johnson. The symposium will be moderated by Judi Gaston of WIS-TV, which will broadcast from the event during its 6 p.m. newscast.

Entertainment for Thursday's event will be provided by the Spring Valley High School Gospel Choir. Following the program, the Young Lawyers Division of the S.C. Bar will sponsor a reception in the main lobby of the Law School. This event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Black Law Students Association and the University's Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Committee.

Congressman James E. ClyburnHighlighting the University's celebration will be a commemorative breakfast featuring Congressman James E. Clyburn (D-SC), House Majority Whip, as guest speaker. USC School of Music student Crystal Garrett, Miss South Carolina 2007, Crystal Garrett, Miss SC 2007will provide the morning's music. Those in attendance also will enjoy music provided by a School of Music Jazz Ensemble under the direction of USC student Jenna McSwain.

The commemorative breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 16, at The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium. Tickets are on sale now through Jan. 15, 2009, at the Russell House Information Desk and at the Carolina Coliseum Box Office. Cost is $8, with a $2 ticket available for students. The public is encouraged to attend the breakfast, which is sponsored by the MLK Holiday Committee, USC Department of Athletics, and the USC Board of Trustees.

The morning event also will feature presentation of the University's Martin Luther King Day Social Justice Award to a student, faculty and staff recipient. This is the first year for the award to be presented. Sponsored by the MLK Holiday Committee, the award was created to recognize individuals who have exemplified the philosophies of Dr. King through random or ongoing acts of community service, social justice or racial reconciliation.

To nominate a student, faculty or staff member for this award, use the MLK Day Social Justice Award Nominating Form on this website. Deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. Friday, December 18, 2008.

The University's commemorative events will conclude with the 12th Annual Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 19, 2009. Volunteers will participate from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in a wide variety of service projects throughout Students Volunteer during 2008 Day of Servicethe Greater Columbia community. Individual and group registration is available online at the Department of Student LIfe's Office of Community Service Programs' website.

Through the partnership between Carolina Service Council, a student organization, and the staff of Community Service Programs, the Annual Day of Service recruited over 400 students, staff, and faculty to serve local non-profits during last year's day of commemoration.

Many volunteers were sent to sites like the Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross center to paint and clean, and Hope Worldwide to play with children while helping with a literacy project. The Day of Service has grown larger each year that it has been sponsored by the Department of Student Life and the Office of Community Services, with 450 volunteers expected to participate this year.

The MLK Holiday Committee would like to thank the following sponsors of this year's observance of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.: USC Department of Athletics, USC Board of Trustees, USC Office of the President, USC Office of the Provost, WIS-TV, Gospel 95.3 FM, WGCV 620 AM, WLXC FM and the Big DM 101.3 FM.

For more information on these events, contact USC's Office of Equal Opportunity Programs at 803-777-3854.

Related Links

King Celebration
Sponsored by The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee, Inc., this site includes a listing of local, national and international events that are planned for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

The King Center
Official website for The King Center, established in 1968 in Atlanta by Coretta Scott King as a memorial dedicated to the advancement of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Directory
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta and The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University have compiled primary and secondary documents covering the life and career of the civil rights leader. The site contains a biography, a chronology of King's life, articles, and a searchable bibliography of reference sources. The site also includes access to letters, speeches, and commentary written by King. A simple, free registration form is required to access the primary documents.