Rollins College will mark the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through education, dialogue and art this week.
Mahjabeen Rafiuddin, Director of Multicultural Affairs hopes the free five-day celebration will show how Rollins values diversity and inclusion.
“We are faced with interesting, complex challenges locally and globally, so we wanted to have a dialogue on campus and in the community,” Rafiuddin said.
“We want our students to think about this leader who had a passion and energy about justice and imagine what would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. do and what should be our collective response.”
Here’s information on Rollins’ events and other events happening in Orange County:
The professional dance company Step Afrika! will perform Thursday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rollins sports complex. The history of stepping is traced from regional African beginnings through modern times. Visit www.stepafrika.org
A Maya Angelou Resource Library Reception and showing of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” will be held Friday, Jan. 14 at Olin Library at 4 p.m. with a bake sale to benefit the Tars Crossover project founded by Rollins alumna Ines Teuma. “She is a true global citizen and responsible leader who is giving back to her community in a big way,” Rafiuddin said of Teuma.
An open mic night will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16 at Cornell Campus Center-Dave’s DownUnder. Local artists and community members are welcome to participate.
The Martin Luther King Memorial Vigil will be held at Knowles Memorial Chapel Monday, Jan. 17 at 6:01 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida. Guests are encouraged to bring gently worn sneakers to donate to the Tars Crossover Project. “My vision is for the students to become more engaged as a community and to see that the values of our college and community are not just rhetoric,” Rafiuddin said.
Unity Festival (update: Monday's events canceled due to inclement weather)
The city of Winter Park presents its Ninth Annual Unity Heritage Festival on Sunday, Jan. 16, in Shady Park in Hannibal Square from 1-5:30 p.m. Special activities include children’s games, career booths, special entertainment by gospel artists, health information and the presentation of the annual Heritage Award. Free family genealogy research will be provided by Hannibal Square Heritage Center Family History Library specialists.
The Heritage Festival continues in Shady Park on Monday, Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Join Mayor Ken Bradley and Winter Park city officials at 10 a.m. for a special Martin Luther King Jr. Symbolic Program, including the Feature Family Presentation to the Simpson family.
Prayers for Pappy
The YMCA of Central Florida, The city of Orlando Mayor’s Martin Luther King Holiday Celebration and the Southwest Orlando Jaycees presents the 20th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 17. The annual event celebrating the life and accomplishments of Orlando’s first African-American elected official, Pappy Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be held at First Baptist Church of Orlando, 3000 S. John Young Parkway at 7:45 a.m. The keynote speaker is Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, one of the world’s foremost neurosurgeons. Tickets are $45 for an individual, $500 per table. For reservations, contact Penny Perkins at 407-895-8609 or email@example.com
First Congregational Church of Winter Park will host Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Worship Service on Saturday Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. In commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and work, Winter Park’s oldest church will host an “Eclectic Soul” worship service with the theme “Justice for All People.” Award-winning actor Chris Lindsay will offer dramatic readings of excerpts of several of Dr. King’s speeches. It’s at 225 S. Interlachen Ave. Contact Rev. Bryan Fulwider, Senior Minister, at 407-647-2416; firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.