The 16th annual community march celebrating the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will begin with a rally at the King statue on the east mall at The University of Texas at Austin at 9 a.m., Monday, Jan. 19.
William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, and Frankie Shulkin, vice president of the university's Student Government, will provide the welcome. Nelson Linder, president of the Austin chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will speak, followed by closing remarks from Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement at the university. The event will include performances by the Innervisions Gospel Choir and the winner of the MLK Oratory Contest from a local elementary school.
The Hon. Wilhelmina Delco, former speaker pro-tem of the Texas House of Representatives, will be the grand marshal for the march from the statue to the Capitol. Austin community activist Willie Mae Kirk will lead the march from the Capitol to Huston-Tillotson University, where a community festival will be held.
The Black Faculty and Staff Association at The University of Texas at Austin will host its Fourth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Texas Union Ballroom for members of the university community and invited guests.
Ernest McMillan, founder of the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program in Houston, Texas, and a veteran of the civil rights movement, will be the keynote speaker. Kyle S. Clark, president of the Black Faculty and Staff Association, said the program theme would be "His Dream, Our Reality."
The events are sponsored by multiple community organizations, including the university's Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.
"We are honored to support the celebration of Dr. King's life and accomplishments," said Vincent. "The University of Texas at Austin has gained strength from its diversity and cultural richness--much of which would not have become possible without the leadership of Dr. King so many years ago."
Free parking will be available at UCFC Disch-Falk Field, the state parking garage at 12th and San Jacinto streets, and at the Holy Cross Catholic Church parking area at 1610 11th St. The festivities, as well as the free parking locations, are along Capital Metro's bus routes. Capital Metro will add service on the #2 Rosewood so it can run on a 15-minute frequency from the start of service on Jan. 19 until 4 p.m. Regular Capital Metro bus fare applies.
Festivities continue on Sunday, Jan. 18, at Austin Community College. The day's events will include the Applied Materials and Seton Hospital Youth Legacy Awards program honoring the youth of Austin for contributions to the community as well as for achievements in art, athletics, community service, education, mathematics and science. Dr. Joni Jones, director of the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies and associate professor in the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, will emcee the program. Dr. Richard Reddick, assistant professor in the College of Education, will give the keynote address.
The celebration concludes Jan. 24 at St. James Baptist Church, 3417 E. MLK Blvd. Bishop T. D. Jakes, ministerial and business visionary and philanthropist, will give the keynote address. The Mount Sinai and St. James choirs will precede Jakes' speech.
Tickets for the keynote address and more information about the events are available online.