A Vision of Inclusion and Understanding
January 13, 2012
By Erik Fallis
All CSU campuses are closed on Monday, Jan. 16 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision for a nation based on inclusion and mutual understanding. Even though many campuses have not yet begun their academic sessions, activities throughout the university will celebrate King's life and lasting impact.
Every year, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at San José State celebrates the proud legacy of its namesake. Today, Jan. 13, the library held a tribute that included guest speaker Glen O. Toney, a CSU trustee, and Barry Houston, minister of the House of Sankofa, as well as reflections by many others on campus and in the surrounding community.
To emphasize a spirit of inclusion, Cal State L.A. faculty, staff, and students from Asian/Asian American Studies, Chicano Studies, Latin American Studies, Pan-African Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, as well as related co-curricular areas held a forum titled "Why Race and Gender (Still) Matter" on Jan. 11. The campus will also hold a celebration in honor of King on Jan. 17.
To emphasize the spirit of community, San Diego State students, faculty and administration will march as a campus delegation under a single banner as part of the city's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade on Sunday, Jan. 15. The campus will host a luncheon with Congressman Bob Filner, a former SDSU professor who was active in San Diego's Civil Rights Movement. The campus also observes a milestone, as the Department of Africana Studies celebrates its 40th anniversary.
CSU East Bay is also inviting campus and community to join in a series of events on Jan. 17. The events will include a morning coffee and conversation, lunchtime celebration and evening "Reel Talk" session. CSU Channel Islands will include the community through a one-man show and oratorical tribute featuring Dr. King's best-known speeches on Jan. 26.
To emphasize the spirit of service, Sacramento State volunteers will gather on Jan. 16 to support Harvest Sacramento in picking and boxing fruit from residential fruit trees in local neighborhoods. Harvest Sacramento will donate to food assistance programs that provide emergency food supplies to Sacramento area residents.
CSU Bakersfield is also encouraging students, staff and faculty to spend their day off participating in community service. All this week, student volunteers from Community Engagement and Career Education and the Student Affairs Street Team ran a "Picture the Change" booth where they asked people to write down their community service commitment and have their photo taken with it.
Two central coast campuses will also keep with the tradition of an MLK Day of Service. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Student Life & Leadership and AmeriCorps are partnering with the county's Food Bank Coalition on Jan. 14 and Jan. 16. Students from Cal Poly’s Beyond Shelter program will gather at a local shelter to serve dinner on Jan. 16. Also on Jan. 16, a group of Cal Poly students who went on an Alternative Breaks trip to New Orleans over winter break will reunite to volunteer in Morro Bay. CSU Monterey Bay's Return of the Natives project is observing the Day of Service by recruiting volunteers to look for hawks, geese, ducks, wrens and a variety of other species at the Watershed Institute’s annual winter bird count on Jan. 14.
Other campuses, including CSU Long Beach will hold celebrations after students return. On Feb. 9, CSULB will celebrate with music, poetry, faculty speakers and student essays.