Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Omaha.com
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Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be Monday. Here is a sampling of events planned to mark the federal holiday. All are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated:
» A collection of events sponsored by the City of Omaha and others share the theme “Now Is the Time.” A sampling of events includes: Monday’s 3:30 p.m. MLK Peace Walk from Omaha Central High School to Creighton University’s Harper Center; Tuesday’s 7 p.m. screening of “Precious Knowledge” at Askarben Cinema followed by a panel discussion; and the 7 p.m. Jan. 23 screening of “The Powerbroker” at Aksarben Cinema. Information about Omaha MLK events and volunteer opportunities can be found via the link at Omaha.com/community. The listing is updated daily.
» Native Omahan John Ewing Jr. will give the keynote address Monday at the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus. UNMC and the Nebraska Medical Center sponsor the noon event in the lower level of the Storz Pavilion in Clarkson Tower. Ewing, the Douglas County treasurer and a longtime volunteer, will discuss “Are You Living the Dream?”
» A candlelight vigil will begin at 7 p.m. Monday in the atrium of the Nebraska Student Union at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The vigil will include a skit by students highlighting the events that led to King’s incarceration in the Birmingham jail, as well as a reading of his “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” A discussion will follow the vigil which is hosted by members of the Black Students Association.
» Three African-American sisters who survived the 1963 bombing of a Baptist church in Birmingham, Ala., will be keynote speakers at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Sarah Collins-Rudolph, Janie Collins-Simpkins and Junie Collins Williams will join political scientist Tracy Snipe of Wright State University at the event, which will be in the Nebraska Union, 14th and R Streets on the UNL City Campus. The Chancellor’s Program is part of a weeklong observance of the holiday. The event also will honor Pat Tetreault, assistant director for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally student programs, who will to be given the 2013 Chancellor’s “Fulfilling the Dream” Award. A panel discussion on “Race, Immigration and the Transforming of a Nation: America in the 21st Century” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Gaughan Center on City Campus.
» Creighton University will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with several events throughout the week. The celebration will begin at 4 p.m. Monday with an award ceremony honoring Alberto “Beto” Gonzales and Sadie Bankston for their social justice work in Omaha. Winners of an elementary school poster and essay contest and student leaders also will be honored during the ceremony in the Hixson-Lied Auditorium of the Harper Center, 602 N. 20th St. During an 11:30 a.m. Jan. 23 unity prayer luncheon, Creighton law professor Ronald Volkmer will be presented with the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major award for social justice advocacy and community work. The Rev. Dwight Ford, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center of Rock Island, Ill., will be the speaker. Reservations are required for the unity prayer luncheon at the Harper Center’s Ahmanson Ballroom, fir which today is the deadline. For reservations, follow the link at Omaha.com/community or call 402-280-2646 to make reservations. Events will wrap up at noon Jan. 25 with a “Cake and Choir” concert, featuring gospel music from local musicians and, yes, cake, at the Skutt Student Center.
» Metropolitan Community College students will celebrate King by giving back to the community through the fifth annual A Day On, Not a Day Off service event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. More than 300 students and staff will volunteer for 60 community organizations including Strategic Air and Space Museum, Goodwill, HELP Adult Services, Habitat for Humanity Omaha ReStore, Open Door Mission, Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, Council Bluffs Fire Department and others.
» Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Neb., will show the film “Letter from a Birmingham Jail: A Call for Unity” at 1 p.m. Monday at the Homestead Education Center. The film is a documentary of King’s influential letter calling for nonviolent demonstration and proactive measures to end U.S. segregation and discrimination.
» The University of Nebraska at Omaha and its Student-Community Leadership and Service (SCLS) Office is celebrating King’s life with service. The office is working with UNO volunteers and the public at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Lauritzen Gardens and Carver Bank. The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is renovating the bank as a north Omaha cultural center. Interested persons can volunteer before Monday’s events by following the link at Omaha.com/community, emailing email@example.com or showing up at 8 a.m. Monday at Blessed Sacrament. SCLS will run a shuttle from the Milo Bail Student Center on the UNO Campus to Blessed Sacrament at 8:30 a.m. Monday. SCLS also is working with Omaha North High School, Omaha South High School and King Science and Technology Magnet Center, all in the Omaha Public Schools, to coordinate a special food drive in honor of MLK Day.
» The Midlands Mentoring Partnership will have an MLK Day of service Monday to honor mentors and to recruit new ones.
» Metropolitan Community College will honor King’s legacy with its 28th annual celebration at noon Thursday. Reservations have closed.
– Compiled by Sue Story Truax and Leslie Reed
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