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MLK Day will kick off a week of campus events

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

The Black Student Association and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Program at Belmont are turning Monday’s holiday into a weeklong series of events celebrating equity and education.

In addition to Monday’s annual candlelight vigil, a week of WELL Core speakers and community-building discussions will follow to open up campus dialogue on diversity. The week will culminate with a “Black Out” day of wearing black as well as lunch on the lawn with Black-owned food trucks.

“Our goal with our events like the vigil, the campus-wide ‘Black Out,’ chapels and more is to provide campus with resources and stories to both commemorate and mobilize the dream and hope MLK set for our world,” said senior Marcus Knight, a member of the BSA.

Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, will be marked with a campus-wide Day of Service. Students can register for in-person or virtual volunteer projects to better the Nashville community.

Monday evening, the BSA will host a candlelight vigil celebrating the Civil Rights Movement, filling Gabhart with light at 6 p.m.

A full list of Belmont’s Martin Luther King Jr. Week programming can be found online.

Marcus Knight (center) and others at the 2020 candlelight vigil for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Belmont University


— Virtual student ‘Real Talk’ with Gary Hunter, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

‘Real Talk’ creates space for an open and honest discussion focused on diversity, equity and inclusion at Belmont and beyond. As a confidential space to bring ideas into the light, “if you are bold enough to bring it up, then we are bold enough to talk about it.” Event leader Hunter is a telecommunications manager in the Human Resources department at Belmont who has worked at the university for over 16 years.


— Martin Luther King Jr. Week Address — “An Exercise in Hope” with Dr. Esau McCaulley, 10 a.m. in the Gabhart Chapel.

McCaulley’s recent book, “Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope,” won numerous awards, including Christianity Today’s book of the year. The Rev. McCaulley is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and teaches New Testament studies at Wheaton College.

— Virtual student ‘Real Talk’ with Gary Hunter, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


— Virtual faculty ‘Real Talk’ with Gary Hunter, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

— Virtual student ‘Real Talk’ with Gary Hunter, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


— Campus-wide “Black Out,” all-day event.

Belmont’s BSA encourages everyone on campus to wear black in support of racial equality, equity and justice.

— Martin Luther King Jr. Week Sermon — “Infinite Hope” with Bishop Anne Henning Byfield, 10 a.m. in the Gabhart Chapel.

Byfield is president of the African Methodist Episcopal Council of Bishops, in addition to shepherding the AME churches in Tennessee and Kentucky. She established a vocational school in Haiti, re-established the AME Church in Cuba and was instrumental in planting ten churches.

— Lunch on the lawn with Black-owned food trucks, 12 p.m.

PHOTO: The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King lead the march from Montgomery, Alabama, to the state capitol, March 19, 1965. AP

This article was written by Anna Jackson. Contributory reporting by Landen Secrest.

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