Barry McNamara  |   Published January 09, 2020

Celebrating King

College to celebrate civil rights leader with community program, day of service.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – The community is invited to celebrate this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Monmouth College.

The College will commemorate King’s legacy with a convocation at noon on Jan. 20 in Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. The event – which will feature a keynote by nationally known poet and spoken-word artist Harold Green of Chicago – is free and open to the public.

HAROLD GREEN: Nationally known poet and spoken-word artist will speak at Jan. 20 convocation. HAROLD GREEN: Nationally known poet and spoken-word artist will speak at Jan. 20 convocation.“We’re excited to feature an artist at this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. convocation,” said Monmouth faculty member Dan Ott, one of the organizers of the College’s annual celebration of the life and ideals of the slain civil rights leader.

Also at the convocation, the College’s Colorful Voices of Praise dancers will perform. The convocation will be emceed by Monmouth students Drew Thaxton ’21 of Decatur, Ill., and Deshja Meyers ’22 of Davenport, Iowa. Meyers will also sing at the event.

Following the convocation, the College will sponsor a day of service in the community for Monmouth students.

“Our day of service continues to grow,” said Ott. “We will have more sites and we are building deeper relationships with our community partners.”

The College’s afternoon classes will be canceled so students can participate in those service activities, which commemorate King’s legacy. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer at several community venues, including the Warren County YMCA, Legacy Estates, Courtyard Estates, the Warren County United Way and Western Illinois Animal Rescue.

“This January actually marks the 25th anniversary of the national movement of the day of service to celebrate Martin Luther King Day and King’s legacy,” said Assistant Director of Leadership and Development Jake McLean. “We consider it a ‘day on,’ and not a ‘day off.’ We’ll have service events on campus and off campus for people to get involved in. We want everybody to have the opportunity to give back and to give to their communities.”

The convocation will mark a return to Monmouth for Green, who visited campus during the fall semester.

“Students loved him,” said Monmouth Director of Intercultural Life Regina Johnson, another organizer of this year’s King Day activities. “He’s amazing. He’s very deep, very thoughtful. … His message is everything that embodies King.”

An ever-evolving artist, Green is known for vibrant storytelling and passionate, lyrical delivery. With repeat sell-out shows at Chicago’s largest and most popular music venues, he is not only a highly sought-after talent but an equally respected band leader and event producer. Green is the creator of numerous recorded albums, videos, plays and, above all, artist platforms, and has performed at festivals, rallies and colleges across the country for almost 15 years. 

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