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Sunday, Jan 31, 2021 at 3:22 pm

SU Holds a Virtual MLK Celebration Event

Alex Malanoski, Yaw Bonsu, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Tonight, SU will hold its annual MLK Celebration Event in a virtual setting. The event will feature keynote speaker Ruby Bridges, the first African American child to attend the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana. Bridges, a civil rights activist and author, will discuss Dr. King’s legacy and the importance of education in instituting lasting change.

“She connects the past with the present and motivates us to create a better future,” said Sean Dorcellus ‘21, student co-chair of the planning committee for the event. “She is the intersection of education and civil rights.”

The celebration will include performances by Syracuse University students and community members, along with the presentation of the 2021 Unsung Hero Awards. These awards are given to students, faculty, staff, and community members who embody Dr. King’s mission of making a positive impact on the lives of others.

“It’s a testament to the university that they hold this event. It’s the largest of its kind on any college campus in the country,” said Dorcellus. “They’ve been holding the event for 36 years now, which is actually before Congress even acted to value Dr. King’s legacy with a federal holiday.”

Dorcellus also spoke to the deeper meaning of this annual celebration. The celebration comes after a year of protest and civil unrest.

“This is one thing we can do to amplify this voice and give our acknowledgment and respect to this cause and the legacy of Dr. King,” Dorcellus said. “The MLK celebration is the highlight for me every year. I feel like it’s the most special thing we’ve got going. Cheers to the next 36 years.”

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, tonight’s event will be held in a completely virtual format. Registration is free and open to all on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration website.