MLK Jr. Celebration Jan. 12-19

The week features Raymond Arsenault, Rev. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., Marc Lamont Hill and a free “Freedom Riders” screening.


By Renee Svec

Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Jan.11, 2012) –The University of South Florida presents the 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Week from Jan. 12-19, 2012.  The celebration kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 12 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom on the Tampa campus with a ceremony and luncheon that features speakers Raymond Arsenault, USF St. Petersburg professor and award-winning author of Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, and guest Rev. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., civil rights activist and educator who participated in the 1961 Freedom Ride seeking to end segregation in the south.


Other highlights of this year’s program are the showing of Freedom Riders, a powerful two-hour documentary film based on Arsenault’s book, and the MLK Convocation with guest lecturer Marc Lamont Hill, one of the nation’s leading hip-hop generation intellectuals, a social justice activist, educator, television show host, and author. Hill’s work covers topics such as culture, politics, and education, and appears in major media outlets, for which he also provides regular commentary.


Additionally, USF’s Stampede of Service, an annual tradition created in 2006 to commemorate Martin Luther King Day, will be held on Jan. 14.  More than 3,000 students are anticipated to volunteer to work with an estimated 48 community service organizations.


The week’s schedule of events that are free and open to the public include:


Jan. 12 – Kick-off Ceremony, noon to 1:30 p.m., Marshall Student Center Ballroom

Jan. 17 – Candlelight Vigil with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, 7 - 8 p.m., USF MLK Plaza

Jan. 18 – Freedom Riders Movie, 8 - 11:30 p.m., MSC Oval Theater

Jan. 19 – MLK Convocation Keynote: Marc Lamont Hill, Ph.D, 8 - 9:30 p.m., Marshall Student Center Ballroom


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Renee Svec can be reached at (813) 974-5383.