University Libraries to host MLK Week commemorative events

January 09, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries will host events to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. during Penn State’s 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration celebration at the University Park campus.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 15, two events will mark the Libraries’ celebration of King's life and work, including a film series and choral concert, followed by a speaker on Tuesday, Jan. 16:

  • Hourly screenings of “Rise! (1940-1968),” fifth in the six-episode PBS documentary series “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” will be shown from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 15 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. The episode examines the long road to civil rights, when deep contradictions in American society finally became unsustainable.
  • Visitors can enjoy the sounds of Essence of Joy, the renowned student choral ensemble from the Penn State School of Music, which will perform sacred and secular music from the African and African-American traditions beginning at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 15 in the Pattee Library Atrium.
  • On Tuesday, Jan. 16, Ed Jackson, executive architect of the national Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, will offer a lecture titled “How Public Art Speaks for a Culture” at 7:30 p.m. in Freeman Auditorium in the HUB-Robeson Center. Jackson will discuss the challenges and successes in the planning and design of a national memorial to honor the life and legacy of King,  which was 28 years in the making. This event is co-sponsored by the MLK University-wide Commemoration Planning Committee.

In addition, the annual exhibition of MLK student posters, with the 2018 theme “Deconstructing the Dream: At Whose Expense,” will be on display from Jan. 9 through Feb. 28 in Sidewater Commons, first floor Pattee Library, with a complementary exhibit chronicling the life and work of King in an adjacent Central Pattee Library lobby display case through February. The exhibition features 20 poster design submissions from students in the course GD 400: Time and Sequence, created for this year’s MLK Day Commemoration. Graphic design student Addie Ruston’s original poster was chosen to represent the event by the 30-member MLK Day planning committee, comprised of students, staff and faculty.

Ruston said her poster represents society’s ripping away of the essence of King’s positive message of equality during his March on Washington, into the violence, hatred and acts of cruelty in the fight for equality that exists today.

For a complete list of events held on campus to celebrate the 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration at Penn State, visit For more information on events being held in the Libraries, or for questions about accommodations, contact Alia Gant, diversity resident librarian, at 814-865-9406 or in advance of your visit.

  • Deconstructing the Dream: At Whose Expense?

    "Deconstructing the Dream: At Whose Expense?" will be the theme of the 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration at Penn State's University Park campus. King's legacy will be celebrated with events throughout the week of Jan. 15-19, 2018.

    IMAGE: Adalaide Ruston

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Last Updated January 18, 2018