Events held in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.

Laura Spieler, Staff Writer

Every year on the third Monday of January, the United States takes a day to remember Martin Luther King Jr.  

This national holiday was established under the Reagan administration in 1983 but wasn’t officially observed until 1986. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates King’s life, accomplishments, and work he did towards racial equality and social justice for the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for nonviolent solutions to stop racial segregation and equal opportunities for everyone, no matter the color of their skin, according to the Britannica website. 

The office of Student Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion at Wayne State College wanted to create some safe ways it could celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while being in the middle of a global pandemic. Kevin McClain, the director of Student Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, said he worked with Student Activities to plan a Paint and Punch activity Jan. 18. McClain said the challenge of planning an event with the COVID-19 safety precautions that Wayne State has in place made the day look different than it has in the past. Nonetheless, he said they figured out some ways to celebrate the life and dreams of Martin Luther King Jr.  

The event took place in the Frey Conference Suite in the Kanter Student Center. McClain said there was a great turnout for the event, and there were even “more students than expected” in attendance. Students were told to be as creative as they wanted in painting anything that represented social justice to them. Student Activities helped purchase supplies for the event including all of the canvases for students to paint on. Some of the pieces of artwork created by students are on display in the Student Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion office.  

Kevin McClain and the office for Student Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion also placed three posters for students to write on. The posters prompted students to write about what Martin Luther King Jr. Day means to them.  Despite some vandalism and sarcastic answers, most students were genuine in their answers.