Niagara University will present a full slate of service and awareness activities beginning Monday, Jan. 21, in observance of the federal holiday that marks the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The event schedule, which includes community service projects, voter registration services and lectures on social justice, is highlighted by a keynote speech delivered by Federal Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott, a 1971 graduate of Niagara University and a member of the university’s Board of Trustees.
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Sustainable Sandals Service Activity
Niagara University’s Institute for Civic Engagement is hosting a service-learning activity to support the Sustainable Sandals project, which annually distributes hundreds of thousands of gently worn sandals from the Cave of the Winds to impoverished areas across the globe. Volunteers, including a group from Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, will process the sandals in the front gym of the Kiernan Center. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. To join, stop by or call 716.286.8510.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Martin Luther King Jr. Fact & Photo Exhibition
Bisgrove Hall’s Glynn Family Atrium will be decorated with an assortment of posters and images highlighting pertinent facts relating to Dr. Martin Luther King and his legacy.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Voter Registration
Providing all people, regardless of color, with the right (and means) to vote was among Dr. Martin Luther King’s successes. To commemorate his efforts, Niagara University is inviting community members to stop by the Gallagher Center’s lower level to register to vote.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Youth Program
More than 65 local schoolchildren will spend much of their day immersed in a series of activities on Niagara University’s campus. Their time on Monteagle Ridge will include participation in the Sustainable Sandals project, as well as a campus tour, a Q-and-A session with current Niagara students, and a reading activity and book giveaway co-sponsored by the Scholastic Books Family and Community Engagement Program.
6:30 p.m. – Keynote Address and Mini Concert
Judge Scott’s presentation will be preceded by an abbreviated musical performance by the gospel choir from St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Buffalo.
On Thursday, Jan. 24, Ted Gong, founder and co-chair of the 1882 Project, will address the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, its consequences and the process by which the 1882 Project mobilized a national movement to obtain Senate and House resolutions acknowledging the injustice of the laws. The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Castellani Art Museum.
One day later, Dr. Michael Durfee, instructor of urban history, will offer a presentation on rethinking the current state of affirmative action, and discuss the Civil Rights movement and its effects on American society. Dr. Durfee’s lecture is scheduled for Friday at 1:25 p.m. in the Gallagher Center’s Multi-purpose Room.
All week, the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University will host an exhibit that documents various points in the history of Chinese Americans, including the 1882 Project, a nonpartisan, grassroots effort to address the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
In addition, Niagara University will place two food collection bins on the Gallagher Center’s lower level throughout the week. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to donate nonperishable food items, which will be brought to the Food Bank of Western New York to assist needy local families.
For more information, please contact Niagara University’s Office of Multicultural International Students Affairs at 716.286.8510 or ude.aragainnull@bed.