January 25, 2023

Events Honoring Martin Luther King Scheduled for the Week of January 30

Heather McGhee, New York Times bestselling author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper TogetherThis year, West Chester University will host several special events honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose federal holiday (January 16 this year) traditionally falls during WCU’s winter session. So that the entire campus community can participate, this year’s events will take place January 30 through February 1.

All campus MLK events are open to all students, faculty, staff, and the public.

On Monday, January 30, WCU’s Center for Civic Engagement & Social Impact (CCESI) will host a two-part service project in conjunction with Dowdy Multicultural Center and Twardowski Career Development Center. The campus community is invited to participate in putting together reading kits (including bookmarks and pointers) for children’s books that are being donated to the Resource Pantry during January. Featuring diverse protagonists and storylines, these children’s books will be donated to local educational organizations. This part of the service project will take place in Sykes Student Union Ballrooms from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A second part to the service project takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Digital Media Center in Brandywine Hall where campus community members are invited to get involved in recording a collection of virtual story times to upload to YouTube. Visit this link for details and registration.

On Tuesday, January 31, WCU’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is collaborating with Delaware County Community College to present a virtual conversation with Heather McGhee, New York Times bestselling author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. In this webinar, she will discuss racial barriers in our society and how unity can benefit the community and even the country, a concept McGhee has coined the “solidarity dividend.” The discussion will include an audience Q&A. McGhee launched a podcast series, The Sum of Us, in July 2022. The free webinar will be held on Zoom from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Attendees must register in advance.

A vocal advocate on issues of democracy reform, economic opportunity, racial equity and financial regulation, McGhee is vice president of policy and outreach for Demos, a public policy organization committed to promoting democracy, diversity, and equality. She chairs the board of Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, and also serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs. McGhee holds a bachelor of arts in American Studies from Yale University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

Finally, on Wednesday, February 1, WCU kicks off Black History Month with MLK: Remembering the Message, a panel discussion with Black faculty that will take place in the Sykes Student Union Ballrooms at 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the MLK Campus Commemoration Planning Committee.


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