Rollins Kicks Off MLK Week with Reflection and Service

January 13, 2022

By Elsa Wenzel

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

Courageous conversations. Positive actions. Community connections. This year’s annual celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. pivots around the question, “Where do we go from here?” A series of in-person and virtual events starting January 16 invites the Rollins community to come together, converse, and serve in ways that advance equity, understanding, and peace in the spirit of MLK.

Building on last year’s theme, “The urgency of now,” which focused on opening up opportunities for diversity and anti-racism education on campus, we’re now turning our focus to the future.

“The next step in the conversation is about where we go from here now that we have the resources on our campus to be able to be more inclusive, more diverse, and more equitable,” says Sam Vega, associate director for Rollins’ Center for Inclusion & Campus Involvement.

“I may not get there with you,” Martin Luther King Jr. famously said the day before he was assassinated. “But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

Here’s a look at this year’s lineup of events and how to get involved.

A speech during MLK week at Rollins College.
Photo by Scott Cook.

MLK Read-In

  • When: Sunday, January 16, 4 p.m.
  • Where: Virtual

King’s own words will kick off the week of remembrance and inspiration. At the MLK Read-In, Rollins faculty, students, and staff will orate and reflect on some of the reverend’s world-changing speeches and sermons. A labyrinth walk outside the chapel immediately following the read-in invites you to walk in contemplation of King’s spirit and honor.

Students breaking down mattresses on SPARC Day, the College's annual day of service.
Photo by Scott Cook.

MLK Day of Service

  • When: Monday, January 17
  • Meet: Rollins Museum of Art
  • Seedlings of Civil Rights: 8 a.m.
  • Mustard Seed of Central Florida: 12:30 p.m.

The Center of Leadership & Community Engagement has organized two service opportunities as an active way to honor the values of MLK. Spots are limited, so sign up early at the links below.

Seedlings of Civil Rights

The 485 acres of Eagle Nest Park in DeBary encompass an urban wetland and nesting area for bald eagles, storks, and herons. Keep this important habitat and recreational space beautiful by picking up litter, planting, and mulching around the park and its trails. Sign up here.

Mustard Seed of Central Florida

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. You’ll help recycle mattresses, organize the warehouse, and sort items for the Seed Boutique and Community Shop. Sign up here.

A candlelight vigil honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Annual MLK Vigil with Keynote Speaker Frederick Joseph

  • When: Monday, January 17, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Virtual

How can you stop microaggressions in their tracks? What does it take to be an inclusive partner and an effective ally? Frederick Joseph, author of the New York Times bestseller The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person, will propose answers to these tough questions while offering meaningful stories and empowering anti-racist tools.

The captivating storyteller draws on his experience of being treated as a “token Black kid” growing up in New Jersey. The Forbes 30 Under 30 MBA has refined the art of cause activism through award-winning marketing and social media campaigns. As a marketing expert and philanthropist, Joseph broke records for COVID-19 relief by mobilizing $2 million in the #RentRelief campaign.

Student engaging in conversation during Rollins’ MLK week of celebration.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Fireside Chat with Sophie Williams

  • When: Tuesday, January 18, 12 p.m.
  • Where: Virtual

Heralded for her fearless insights about equity and allyship, Sophie Williams will lead an intimate virtual conversation. In addition to her career in production planning at Netflix, she’s lauded for her book Millennial Black: The Ultimate Guide for Black Woman at Work. A TED Talk by Williams explores the complexities of implicit bias in the workplace and the idea of “the glass cliff.” Follow her on @OfficialMillennialBlack.

Students doing yoga on Mills Lawn.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Yoga with Dee

  • When: Wednesday, January 19, 5 p.m.
  • Where: Mills Lawn

Self-care is essential for everyone. Get outdoors, stretch, and breathe on Mills Lawn while supporting local Black-owned business Yoga with Dee. Bring a yoga mat and mask up!

Students attend a film screening at the Enzian Theatre.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Movie Night and Conversation: Selma

  • When: Thursday, January 20, 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Virtual

The Ava DuVernay-directed drama Selma follows the 1965 march for voting rights led by Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The film is acclaimed for its historical accuracy and an all-star cast that includes Oprah Winfrey and Common. Join the screening online, with a debrief and conversation to follow.

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