Arts Events for MLK Week at Southwest Minnesota State University


MLK Week of Service and Civic Engagement Activities Planned

A ball made up of words, all red, green and maroon. Words like: Diversity, Office, Culture are the main ones, repeated.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Week of Service and Civil Engagement will be held January 14-19, with several events planned throughout the week. The activities honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy of fighting for social and economic equality through activism and service.

Several special guests will be visiting throughout the week to perform and to share their experiences through panel discussions.

SeVy, a gospel quartet from Minneapolis, will perform at the community breakfast on Monday, Jan. 16.

Joan C. Browning, a writer and lecturer from West Virginia, will speak at the discussion following the Jan. 18 6 p.m. viewing of “Love and Solidarity: James Lawson & Nonviolence in Search for Workers’ Rights.” She writes and lectures about growing up four miles from one of the South’s most rabid racist politicians and about finding her way into the 1960’s civil rights movement in the deep South.

Celeste Bembry’s performance of Negro Spirituals, Gospel Music, Jazz, Ethnic Roots Music, and American Opera has taken her to concert halls, cathedrals, universities, academies, and opera houses in thirty-five countries. Bembry will perform at the Jan. 19 MLK Unity Through the Arts Showcase from 6-9 p.m. in the Lower Conference Center.

All events are free and open to the public.

Non-perishable food will be collected at events throughout the week.

Sponsors of the MLK Week of Service and Civic Engagement include: SMSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, SMSU Access Opportunity Success, SMSU Center for Civic Engagement, SMSU Black Student Union, City of Marshall, Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce, Marshall Area YMCA, United Way, Western Community Action, and Marshall Public Schools.

The week’s complete listing of events includes:

Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 — “Be Kind” event

  • 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Marshall-Lyon County Library. Stories, activities, music and service projects that promote kindness and help us understand why humans are innately kind.

Monday, January 16, 2017 – MLK Breakfast and Day of Service

  • Community Breakfast, 7:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Upper Conference Center

The program will include words by SMSU personnel and Marshall community leaders, a performance by gospel quartet SeVy from Minneapolis, and a viewing of the General Mills Foundation and United Negro College Fund-sponsored broadcast of The MLK Breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The broadcast will feature author and activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, the wife of murdered civil rights activist Medgar Evers.

Following the broadcast will be a community discussion panel and a service-learning project with Food4Kids. This event is free and open to the public.  Registration is required to attend.

  • Volunteer and Services Fair, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Upper Conference Center

Various organizations within the Marshall community will be available to provide information about volunteer opportunities and services.

  • Food4Kids packing event, 10:30 a.m. Agape Fellowship 301 N. High Street, Marshall, MN

Volunteers will help sort food for children in need. Space is limited for this event. Call 507-537-7304 or email to register.

  • Diversity Book Club, reading: “A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota,” 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. CH 225

SMSU’s faculty and staff will have their second book club session, discussing the book, “A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota,” by Sun Yung Shin. For more information, email

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

  • The Voices of Civil Rights: Written Work by Civil Rights Activists, performed by Marshall High School and SMSU students, 6-7:00 p.m., Lower Conference Center.

SMSU and Marshall High School students will be reading various written work by pivotal leaders and writers of the Civil Right Movement.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

  • Viewing of “Love and Solidarity: James Lawson & Nonviolence in Search for Workers’ Rights,” followed by a discussion with Freedom Rider Joan C. Browning, 6-7:30 p.m., Lower Conference Center

Directed by Michael Honey, “Love and Solidarity: James Lawson & Nonviolence in Search for Workers’ Rights” explores nonviolence and organizing through the life of Rev. James Lawson. Following the movie there will be a panel featuring Freedom Rider Joan C. Browning and Historian Jeff Kolnick.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

  • MLK Unity Through the Arts Showcase 6-9:00 p.m., Lower Conference Center, featuring Celeste Bembry

The Marshall community will come together to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy through art. Musicians, singers, poets, writers, visual artists and more from the Marshall community will have an opportunity to showcase their love for art. Singer and performer Celeste Bembry will be performing. Artists, please contact Nathan Halverson to sign-up to perform.

For more information on the week’s events, visit:

Leave a Comment


Join our email list

© 2024 Southwest Minnesota Arts Council. All Rights Reserved.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. ACCEPT READ MORE

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Skip to content