MLK Day events present opportunities to make campus, community stronger

January 06, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The theme for the next Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration is a reminder for Penn Staters to use their voices in the face of injustice.

In the coming weeks, opportunities abound for students looking to step up and make an impact.

The theme “When Silence Becomes Betrayal” will be supported by the hashtag #ISpokeUpWhen, giving an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to be recognized for times they spoke up against injustice.

On Monday, Jan. 16, the MLK Jr. Day of Service will mobilize students to assist on campus and in the community from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students, who will receive food and a T-shirt, can sign up at

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, students will offer their interpretation of “When Silence Becomes Betrayal” through the likes of dance, poetry, art and music in "Silence Interrupted: A Talent Showcase & Social Justice Reception" from 6 to 8 p.m. in the HUB-Robeson Center’s Heritage Hall. Students can register to perform at

Other events include:

-- From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 17, students will be able to gather at tables in the HUB to write letters to prisoners through the Restorative Justice Initiative.

-- From 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 18, the Community Showcase will feature art, poetry and essays for local youth throughout the State College community in the HUB’s Heritage Hall.

-- From noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 19, RAWtools will give a blacksmithing demonstration, turning guns into garden tools at the Palmer Museum patio.

-- A 6 p.m. Jan. 19, Drew Hart, author of “Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism,” will speak in Heritage Hall.

-- From 7:30 to 9 p.m. Jan. 19, the Penn State Speech and Debate Society will present “The Gun Violence Debate: Should People on the No-Fly List be Able to Buy Guns?” in Heritage Hall.

-- At 6 p.m. Jan. 20, professor and author Cornel West will speak during the MLK Day Evening Celebration in Schwab Auditorium. Free tickets can be reserved at

For more on Penn State’s MLK commemoration, go to

Last Updated January 17, 2017