Rollins Embraces the Power of Endurance During MLK Week

January 09, 2023

By Stephanie Rizzo ’09

Students perform during the MLK Vigil in Knowles Memorial Chapel
Photo by Scott Cook.

Rollins honors Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, legacy, and commitment to civil rights with a week of inspiring activities.

Each year, the Rollins community comes together to commemorate the life and work of legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. through a week of service, conversation, and reflection. It’s a celebration perfectly suited to the Rollins mission to provide learning opportunities through service—and a marker of our continued commitment to building a more diverse and equitable culture within our surrounding communities.

This year’s slate of programming is sponsored by the Center for Inclusion & Belonging, Rollins’ newly reimagined department focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, with additional support from the Center for Leadership & Community Engagement and the Center for Campus Involvement.

Last year, students, faculty, and staff asked, “Where do we go from here?” This year’s programming builds on those conversations, which center on reconciliation and forward momentum in the movement for racial equality, with a focus on the theme, “The Power of Endurance.” Throughout the week, Tars across campus will take a critical look at how King’s message has endured while looking at ways we can continue to embrace and implement his powerful teachings.

Ready to get involved? Here’s a look at this year’s lineup of events.

Rev. Katrina Jenkins leads a special service honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.
Photo by Scott Cook.

MLK Read-In and Service

  • When: Sunday, January 15, 11 a.m.
  • Where: Knowles Memorial Chapel

Join Rollins’ Dean of Religious Life Rev. Katrina Jenkins for a special Sunday service featuring a selection of readings from Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speeches and sermons.

Students volunteer at Mustard Seed of Central Florida
Photo by Scott Cook.

Annual MLK Day of Service

The Center of Leadership & Community Engagement has organized two service opportunities honoring the values of MLK. Spots are limited, so sign up early at the links below. All volunteer shifts include shuttle service from campus and will leave from the Rollins Museum of Art.

Seedings for Civil Rights

  • When: Monday, January 16, 8 a.m.
  • Where: Seedlings for Civil Rights (meet at the Rollins Museum of Art)

Join this coordinated effort by the City of Orlando’s Green Up and Keep Orlando Beautiful programs. Volunteers will pitch in by providing landscaping services to public areas of need and working in community gardens around the city. Sign up here.

Mustard Seed of Central Florida

  • When: Monday, January 16, 12:30 p.m.
  • Where: Mustard Seed of Central Florida (meet at the Rollins Museum of Art)

The Mustard Seed of Central Florida helps families rebuild their lives after suffering disasters or personal tragedies by providing household furniture and clothing while being environmentally responsible in our community. Volunteers will sort donations and help provide essential items for our most vulnerable communities. Note: Volunteers should be able to lift 10 to 40 pounds of donations. Sign up here.

Students hold candles at the annual MLK Week Vigil
Photo by Scott Cook.

Annual MLK Vigil with Keynote Speaker Dr. Yohuru Williams

  • When: Monday, January 16, 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Tiedtke Concert Hall

Deepen your understanding of King’s message through a night of community reflection and discussion. This year’s MLK Vigil highlights “The Power of Endurance” theme with a keynote by guest speaker Yohuru Williams, founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas. The event will include a special performance by the Rollins Theater and Dance department.

Students take a stroll around the Rollins labyrinth
Photo by Scott Cook.

National Day of Racial Healing

  • When: Tuesday, January 17, 2 p.m.
  • Where: Rollins College Labyrinth

Join Rollins’ Dean of Religious Life Rev. Katrina Jenkins for a walk around the labyrinth outside Knowles Memorial Chapel, where you’ll reflect on King’s spirit and message as you stroll the winding path with your peers.

Celebrate MLK Week and Lunar New Year at the Reunion and Hope Festival
Photo by Scott Cook.

Reunion and Hope Festival

  • When: Thursday, January 19, 4 p.m.
  • Where: Swindle Patio (behind Dave’s Boathouse)

Join SGA in partnership with AAPI and BSU as they jointly celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This special event commemorates Black, Asian, and Pacific Island cultures through food, music, and more.

Students answer questions at Trivia Night at Dave's Boathouse
Photo by Scott Cook.

Trivia Night

  • When: Thursday, January 19, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Dave’s Boathouse

Trivia master Curtis Earth hosts a special night of questions dedicated to civil rights and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Come prepared to test your trivia skills—and learn something in the process.

Students take in a movie
Photo by Scott Cook.

Movie Night and Conversation: Green Book

  • When: Thursday, January 19, 4 p.m.
  • Where: Rollins College Labyrinth

This Academy Award-winning film (based on a true story) by director Peter Farrelly follows a world-class Black pianist who embarks on a concert tour of the Deep South in 1962. Bring a blanket and stick around after the movie for a community discussion moderated by representatives from the Center for Inclusion & Belonging.

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