TIU’s MLK Day Celebration

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Trinity International University will hold its first Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. celebration on January 21 with several workshops, ceremonies, and a performance from the Trinity Community Choir, composed of faculty, staff, and students. The one-day celebration schedule will consist of the following:

12pmLunch — Lantern Lounge, sponsored by the Evangelical Free Church of America
1pmOpening Ceremony — ATO Chapel, includes singing, poetry, speakers, etc
2pmWorkshops — Rodine, various workshop topics
3pmClosing Ceremony — ATO Chapel, includes communion, prayer, a unity charge and dedication

Any college students attending the event have the opportunity to receive two chapel credits. At the opening ceremony,  three speakers will each take 10 minutes to theologically frame one of the topics of Dr. King’s mission. Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology Dr. Peter Cha will speak about reconciliation, Assistant Professor of New Testament Dr. Dana Harris will cover the issue of equality, and Associate Professor of Christian Ministries Dr. Michael Reynolds will address the topic of justice.

The Trinity community will have the opportunity to attend the following workshops:

  • Diversity in Higher Education – Aaron Mahl, Director of Undergraduate Admissions
  • Spiritual Practice for Racial Reconciliation – Daniel Hartman, Mosaic Ministries Coordinator, and Angela Walker, Graduate Admissions Coordinator
  • Wall of Stereotypes – Montage Leaders
  • “Race and the Christian: A night with John Piper and Tim Keller” - video showing and discussion, moderated by Steven Weather
President Williford will also share his heart and vision for our institution concerning reconciliation, justice, and equality. Attendees will receive a charge for being agents of reconciliation in our community and will be invited to sign a commitment to that end.  Following that, Chaplain Scott Samuelson will lead in communion.

The opening ceremony will feature a Trinity Community Choir, open for anyone who wants to participate in this event. Multicultural Development Office (MDO) Director Devlin Scott said he hopes the community choir will paint a visible picture of the unity represented at TIU. Those wishing to participate in the choir will have to attend at least two of the five practices scheduled, as well as the mandatory final practice and sound check on the day of the event. Practice opportunities are listed below. The Trinity Gospel Choir will be leading rehearsal.

Scott emphasized that this first MLK Jr. Day celebration at Trinity is not for one group or section of the campus community.

“Although MDO is a a part of this event and it is spearheaded by myself, it is done in collaboration with many individuals whose jobs include matters that Dr. King worked for or they have a personal passion for it. This event is in every way a university-wide event,” Scott said.

Coordinator of Minority Student Engagement Joi McGowan similarly stressed that Dr. King’s mission and message were for all people and are meant to be celebrated by all.

“We really want this day to be a time where we can remember the work that Dr. King did as something that was not just for African Americans. Instead, the message of freedom that Dr. King spoke about was for all people no matter what color they are. We hope to get that across as much as possible within this day of celebration,” McGowan said.

According to McGowan, the decision to celebrate this day as a community as opposed to taking the day off as a national holiday was not a small decision. As many staff, students, and faculty live far from campus, they would have enjoyed the day off as a time to spend with family. 

“Our office has tried very hard to make sure we partnered with several different people of influence on campus. We have had a full team of Trinity faculty, staff, and students to speak into the actual process of bringing together a day like this,” McGowan said.

McGowan believes this first MLK celebration reflects positively on the Trinity community, as a sign of what the university believes and embraces as their mission.

“A celebration of this sorts means that the TIU community has decided to publicly, individually, and holistically align ourselves with a mission that is for all people. I think that celebrating this day together will begin to increase the awareness all of our staff, faculty and students of the strides Trinity is taking toward the mission of reconciliation, justice, and equality for all people,” she said.

McGowan and Scott encouraged Trinity students to fully participate in the planned events as a way of participating in history and one of the core values of Trinity: community. 

Community as core values is explained as,’We seek to be a learning community that operates by the ethics and values of the kingdom of God. The makeup of this community should be a reflection of the breadth and diversity of the family of God. The way we treat people should be consistent with the morals, justice, compassion, humility, and love of our Lord.’ We gather to celebrate this together. We have the opportunity, as a university and community, to reflect on Dr. King’s life and mission as a goal that is realized in our time and generation. By celebrating his life, we can rededicate ourselves to continuing the work of reconciliation, justice, and equality. We can celebrate and appreciate our journey,our mission as a community, towards biblical brotherhood and sisterhood,” Scott said.

Trinity Community Choir Practice Opportunities:

Sunday, January 13, 2013 — McLennan 174 from 7pm–9pm

Monday, January 14, 2013 — Melton Hall in the Waybright Student Center from 4:30pm–5:45pm

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 — Melton Hall in the Waybright Student Center from 4:30pm–5:45pm

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 — Melton Hall in the Waybright Student Center from 4:30pm–5:45pm

Sunday, January 20, 2013 — McLennan 174 from 7pm–9pm

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