August 9, 2019

August 9, 2019


MLK’s Legacy Honored with Call to Service

Annual Event Features Music, Art to Celebrate the Leader's Work

Feb. 15, 2018

  • Dallas artist Abel Garcia created a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the UT Dallas breakfast on Jan. 18 honoring the civil rights leader.

Nearly 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, students, faculty and staff honored the civil rights leader at an annual UT Dallas event featuring music, art, speakers and a challenge to respond to King’s call to service.

“Each of us will be given opportunities to accept the challenge of leadership. The question is this: What will you do with what you’re learning here to make the world a better place?” said keynote speaker the Rev. Frances Cudjoe Waters, a United Methodist pastor and entrepreneur, who chairs Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ task force on Confederate monuments.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast also included a video highlighting the University’s first MLK Jr. Day of Service in which 100 students and volunteers packed 16,000 meals for people in need. Maya Hook BA’17 played guitar and sang “Amazing Grace,” and Dallas artist Abel Garcia painted a portrait of King.

Other speakers at the event included Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, executive vice president and Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair of Academic Leadership; Dr. George Fair, vice president of Diversity and Community Engagement and dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies; and master of ceremonies Arthur Gregg, assistant vice president for multicultural affairs and director of the Multicultural Center.

The breakfast, held Jan. 18 at the Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center, was co-sponsored by the Multicultural Center, Student Union Activities and Advisory Board and the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement.

After the event, attendees reflected on King’s legacy.

Fair said that King's legacy continues to inspire new generations.

“He’s the example of what people who have a mission in life can do,” he said.

Dr. Jessica C. Murphy, dean of Undergraduate Education and associate professor of literary studies, said: “If I could answer in the words that the Rev. (Cudjoe Waters) gave us today, there’s still work to be done, which is what Dr. King would have wanted us to remember.”  

Dr. Amanda Smith, associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, said she hopes students are inspired to follow King's example.

“As our future leaders, I hope they go out and make the changes that need to be made to make our world a better place," she said. 

Watch a video highlighting the University’s first MLK Jr. Day of Service in which 100 students and volunteers packed 16,000 meals for people in need. If you don't see the video, watch it on Vimeo.


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