Penn State Harrisburg’s community observance of Martin Luther King Day on Monday, Jan. 19 will again include an original dramatic production and a musical celebration.
For the 11th consecutive year, the day’s observance begins at noon in the Capital Union Building on campus with an original play written by faculty member Dorothy King. Then at 4 p.m., Harrisburg’s G.A.T. Fellowship Choir will take the stage for a celebratory concert.Both events are free and open to the public. For information, phone (717) 234-3886.
Hosted by the college’s Diversity and Educational Equity Committee, the events support Penn State Harrisburg’s commitment to foster community dialog on issues while providing a forum for the exchange of diverse perspectives. Director of Student Affairs Felicia Brown-Haywood said, “The diversity and inclusion programming at Penn State Harrisburg is a co-curricular function which provides a forum for living out the principles found in good citizenship, understanding yourself, and understanding others. These events give us a forum to recognize and appreciate diversity and the need for inclusion at the table for all.”
She continued, “There is a myriad of research supporting how diverse learning environments positively affect the critical thinking, civic commitment, and skill development to work in a global economy for all involved.”
“The Brown Effect examines the impact of integration on the African-American community, exploring what was gained and what was sacrificed in an attempt to create equality in America’s Schools,” King noted.
She added, “In the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the separate but equal doctrine. This year’s production, set in 1959, profiles what happened to black children and Negro schools as a result of the ruling and addresses just what was The Brown Effect.”
God’s Army of Tenacity Fellowship Choir (G.A.T.), a group of young people from the Harrisburg area, was founded in 2007 by Thaddeus and Karen Garling. The choir enlists members from communities and churches in the area with a primary focus of intertwining original songs with life’s lessons. As part of its presentation, the choir will explore the role of diversity in local ministry.