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CUNY Honors Dr. King in a Recommitment to Service and Its Historic Mission

The City University of New York is commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a series of commemorative events and volunteer activities on its campuses and throughout the city. It has been nearly 57 years since the iconic civil rights champion’s landmark commencement address at the City College of New York, which he delivered June 12, 1963, just hours after the assassination of Medgar Evers in Mississippi. 

In association with the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, Medgar Evers College will again present New York City’s largest public celebration of MLK Day. This year’s event features a keynote speech by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and musical guests Son Little and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir. 

“To honor the indelible memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we at CUNY recommit ourselves to our historic mission of providing a life-transforming education to our students, who represent every background, so that they will be empowered to achieve their own hopes and dreams,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “In his commencement address at City College in 1963, Dr. King urged us all to remember that we are bound to each other regardless of race, nationality or politics. Dr. King said: ‘No nation or individual can live alone in the modern world. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools.’ They are timeless words, as true today as they were then, and well worth remembering on MLK Day and every other day of the year.” 

CUNY’s 2020 MLK Day activities include:  

Medgar Evers College 
The 34th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Monday, Jan. 20, 10:30 a.m. 
Brooklyn Academy of Music, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn 

New York City’s largest public celebration in honor of iconic civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. returns to Brooklyn Academy of Music for the 34th year, presented by BAM, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Medgar Evers College. All members of the community are invited to this beloved annual tradition, which brings together world-renowned activists, public figures and civic leaders alongside musicians and other performers. Join us in paying tribute to Dr. King’s legacy and to help keep alive his message of equality, peace and hope. This year’s keynote speaker is journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, and the event features musical guests Son Little and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir. This full day of free events also includes a screening and an art exhibition entitled Picture the Dream (on view through Feb. 27).  The event is free and open to the public. General admission tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-seated basis. Lobby doors open at 8 a.m.  

Queens College 
In the Footsteps of Dr. King 
Sunday, Jan. 19, to Thursday, Jan. 23 

In the Footsteps of Dr. King offers a unique opportunity for Queens College students to travel to major sites of the civil rights movement. It allows participants to connect with that struggle in meaningful ways. They will meet civil rights veterans, experience iconic sites firsthand, and explore modern-day impacts of the civil rights movement. As a condition of joining, students will be expected to document their experiences through video, photography and writing and, upon their return to campus, share what they have learned with a broader audience. Contact: footsteps@qc.cuny.edu 

LaGuardia Community College  
Weaving the Dream 
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2 p.m. 
M-Building, MB-06, LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Ave, Long Island City, Queens 

Join Campus Life for an open discussion in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. The special guest speaker, Professor Victor Rosa of the English Department, will share his own experiences on advocacy and civic engagement. You can contribute to our decorative commitment tapestry by weaving together statements on what you will do this year to support equality and diversity on campus and in the community. Contact: CampusLife@lagcc.cuny.edu 

York College  
Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service Community Fair: Count Me In 
Monday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m. 
Robert Ross Family Life Center, York College, 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, Queens 

The Fifth Annual Community Fair honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also seeks donations of non-perishable food items for the community pantry. Also bring a pair of used eyeglasses if available. Contact:  Dr. Jean Phelps, (718) 262-2286, jphelps@york.cuny.edu. 

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