MLK Week at USF

A day of service starts a week that also features a vigil in the plaza named for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and University Lecture Series speaker, actor Hill Harper.

                                                                                                                                                               Photo by Aimee Blodgett | USF News

By Barbara Melendez

USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 16, 2014) – Monday's national holiday celebrating the birth and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is at the center of a week of activities at USF.

Beginning with Stampede of Service, Saturday, Jan. 18, when USF student donate their time and effort to helping at sites throughout Tampa Bay, remembering the slain civil rights activist continues with a Free Music Fest that runs both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The university is closed Feb. 20.

A Dedication Luncheon takes place in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom on Tuesday, Jan. 21, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. That evening at 9 p.m. in MLK Plaza there will be a Candlelight Vigil and Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m., the University Lecture Series features actor Hill Harper.

Harper was selected by the student-run University Lecture Series as an example of someone living King’s values. There's another connection as well. The award-winning actor, author and humanitarian co-emceed, with news correspondent Soledad Obrien, the opening ceremony of the 50th Anniversary March on Washington in 2013. In his role as the founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation and drawing on his life experiences, Harper will talk about the importance of education in achieving personal success. Included in the schedule of activities during the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, this event is free and open to the public and includes a book signing.  The program  begins at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) in the MSC Ballroom.

Department of Africana Studies Chair Cheryl Rodriguez observed, “Because of his extraordinary intellect, Dr. King could have lived his life sequestered in a world of theories and dreams, He could have spent every waking day writing inspirational sermons and gently attending to his small flock of oppressed believers. But he grew to understand that simple ideas can transform the world and that it was his mission to communicate the deep but simple idea of freedom to all who would hear him. MLK Day reminds us that the work of caring about the world should continue with each and every one of us.”

For the full MLK Week schedule click here or visit:

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563