MTSU's Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sorority will host a candlelight vigil honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Student Union Ballroom at 6:00 o'clock this coming Monday evening (1/21/2019).
Aaron Treadwell, an assistant professor of history at MTSU and senior pastor at African Methodist Episcopal Church in Nashville, will deliver the keynote address.
"For me, this vigil is very significant," said Daniel Green, director of the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center. "We don't want to forget about MLK this week. We want to continue his legacy. We want to continue to stand up (to) injustices, to continue to stand up for equality. That's something I encourage my students to do every single day."
King, who was inspired both by his Christian faith and by civil disobedience tactics employed by Indian leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, led marches and demonstrations that led to the dissolution of legally enforced racial segregation in public accommodations. His work and that of his followers prompted Congress to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
After speaking to sanitation workers who were striking for better wages and working conditions in Memphis, Tennessee, King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.
On Nov. 21, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the legislation creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national celebration of King's birthday. King was born Jan. 15, 1929. The holiday is celebrated on the third Monday in January each year. Its first observance was on Jan. 20, 1986.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was the first Greek-letter organization established by women of color. It was created at Howard University in Washington, D.C., during the 1907-1908 academic year. The Eta Psi chapter has been in existence at MTSU since 1973.