WSU hosts events honoring MLK Day

Students and staff celebrate day of service honoring MLK Jr.; events last through March

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ANISSA CHAK | EVERGREEN ILLUSTRATION

WSU is hosting a variety of events January through March in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

CALLIE GERBER, Evergreen reporter

WSU is hosting a variety of events starting today and lasting through March 31 to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The commemoration goes far into the spring semester, said Jaime Nolan, associate vice president for community, equity, and inclusive excellence for the Division of Student Affairs. This allows for lots of time to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and his work. 

“In the nearly four years I’ve been here, one of the things I really appreciate and respect is that the commemoration of MLK’s life and work is so strongly tied to any work that we’re engaged with on behalf of justice and equity,” Nolan said.

Food Drive

The Cougar Food Pantry is collecting food for WSU students and the Community Action Center from noon to 6 p.m. on Jan. 17. People who want to drop food off can do so at Grocery Outlet, Dissmore’s IGA, Safeway, Walmart, the Cougar Food Pantry at the Compton Union Building and at the Office of Access and Opportunity in the Lighty Student Services Building.

Caring Cougar Cards

This event is open to everyone in the WSU community. It is from 12:30-1:30 p.m on Jan. 18 at Butch’s Den in the CUB or virtually via Zoom. Each WSU campus has its own in-person location for this event.

“MLK is the only national holiday meant to be a day of service; we are meant to have the day off of work or school to go give back to our community,” said Andria Donnenwerth, student involvement manager for WSU Global Campus.

She started with the idea to make cards and worked to make it bigger and more inclusive to all students., Donnenwerth said.

This event will be in-person and online for everyone across the WSU system, she said. Alumni, staff and Pullman High School will also be participating.

People who signed up for the virtual option by Jan. 10 got materials mailed to them so they can participate, she said.

“We mailed over 44 envelopes to the virtual people,” Donnenwerth said.

All physical locations will have Zoom set up somewhere in the room. Then, different locations will be spotlighted at different times. During the spotlight, there will be discussion about who their cards will be benefiting, she said.

The cards made at the Pullman event will benefit Bishop Place Senior Living, Donnenwerth said. They will be given to the staff members and residents.

“Our hope is that those groups [and] organizations will identify those people that just need a pick-me-up,” she said.

People can get official volunteer hours from this event if needed, Donnenwerth said.

Realizing the Beloved Community at WSU

This event is from 2-2:30 p.m on Jan. 18 and is virtual. It’s open to everyone across the WSU system, according to the MLK Program event website.

At the event, participants will be able to set goals for the upcoming year, “as change agents for equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and justice,” according to the event page.

Uncomfortable Conversations with Emmanuel Acho

This is a recurring online event series at 1:30 p.m on Jan. 20, 3:00 p.m on Jan. 25 and noon on Jan. 26 and 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 31. Each event will discuss difficult topics including cancel culture, interracial dating, mental health and policing according to the event page.

“We’re going to have moderated discussions and show a clip around particular topics, and then engage in critical dialogue around issues that are raised by that particular dialogue he was having,” Nolan said.

Anti-Racism Training

Doctor Xyanthe Neider is teaching the session and will discuss what anti-Black racism is, white supremacy and strategies to disrupt anti-Black racism, according to the event page. This virtual event series is at 11 a.m on Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11.

MLK Trivia Night

This event is virtual and is at 6 p.m on Feb. 24.

Students will be broken up into teams and there will be trivia questions related to Black history, Donnenwerth said.

“It’s just a relaxing way to gather, but yet still give recognition to MLK and the importance and the value in the history that maybe we don’t all know,” she said.

Thriving Authentically: Ascending Industry While Identifying as Black, Indigenous, and Person of Color (BIPOC)

This online event will take place at 5 p.m. on March 31. There will be a panelist of BIPOC who will discuss their career path and how their identity changed while pursuing their careers, according to the event page.