Austinites honor MLK Day with rally and march

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hundreds of people gathered Monday to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

The 21st annual community march and rally honoring the life of Martin Luther King Jr. began at 9 a.m. at the University of Texas at Austin and proceeded to the Huston-Tillotson University campus, where events and entertainment will continue until 3 p.m. A few guest speakers include UT President Bill Powers, Rep. Dawnna Dukes and Kevin Foster, associate professor in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department. The event will also include performances by the Innervisions Gospel Choir and the winner of the MLK Oratory Contest from an area public school.

This year, participants are asked to bring canned goods or nonperishable items for donation to the Capital Area Food Bank. Donation receptacles will be available at UT and HT. For more information about the MLK Day celebration and festival, you can check out the website.

Georgetown will celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday and later in the week at Southwestern University at a number of community events.

Youth Service Day

The Georgetown Project hosts a Youth Service Day on MLK Day for youth grades 9 through 12 at the Teen Center. The Youth Service Day starts at 9 a.m. Service projects include games with seniors at a nursing home, park clean-up and beautification, working at the NEST program for teens, landscaping at the Georgetown Housing Authority, work at Habitat ReStore, and writing letters or sending bracelets to members of the military. Students needing service hours will be given certificates for 4 1/2 hours of service.

Participation in service projects will be followed by a free pizza lunch at the Teen Center, located at the Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Avenue. For details, contact the Georgetown Project or call 512-943-5198.

Day of Service

The United Way of Williamson County is sponsoring a Day of Service on MLK Day from 9 a.m. to noon for youth or adults. The Day of Service includes project locations in Georgetown, Hutto, Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Taylor. Projects in Georgetown include volunteer efforts at Annunciation Maternity Home, Berry Springs Park and Reserve, and The Caring Place. For details or to register, go to unitedway-wc.org or call 512-255-6799.

March and Panel

A march to honor the MLK Day holiday will begin at 12 p.m. at the Williamson County Courthouse, 710 S. Main Street. After meeting on the north side of the Courthouse on Seventh Street, there will be a seven-block march to Macedonia Baptist Church, 206 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street. The theme of the event, sponsored by the Georgetown Fellowship of Churches, is Pursuing Hopes and Dreams through Tribulations.

A program beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Macedonia Baptist Church features Nathaniel Bonner with St. Paul United Methodist Church, De Andre Woods-Walker with Southwestern University, and Cheryl Lang-Hoover, Georgetown ISD executive director of human resources. The march and program are free and open to the public. For details, contact Tyrone Adams at 512-968-6361 or Paulette Taylor at 512-863-2109.

Symposium at Southwestern University

For the first time, the Race and Ethnicity Studies Program at Southwestern University will be hosting an interdisciplinary symposium during Martin Luther King, Jr. Week. The two-day Race and Ethnicity Studies Symposium will feature six Southwestern faculty

members and Southwestern alumna Tara Leday. The symposium on Tuesday and on Thursday will focus on research on race and racial discrimination and feature a question and answer period in which attendees may participate. For the full symposium schedule, visit: www.southwestern.edu/calendar. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Diversity Enrichment Committee and the Office of Diversity Education. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information about the symposium, contact Assistant Professor of Philosophy Omar Rivera at riverao@southwestern.edu.

Southwestern students also will participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at Twin Springs Preserve on Monday, and will be invited to share their perspective on Dr. King’s “beloved community” on the SU Social Justice Wall Jan. 15 through Jan. 22.

A reminder for Austinites, City of Austin administrative offices and other municipal facilities will be closed Monday, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Normal business hours will resume Tuesday, Jan. 20. Closures include City Council offices, City Hall and all Austin Public Library locations.All recreation centers, senior centers, museums, and cultural arts centers will be closed for the holiday. Barton Springs Pool, Deep Eddy, Bartholomew Pool and Big Stacy Pool will be open.  Trash, recycling and yard trimmings collection for Austin Resource Recovery customers will remain the same. The Household Hazardous Waste Facility and Resource Recovery Center will be closed for the holiday.

Additional city closures to note include:

  • The Business Solutions Center at 505 Barton Springs Rd.
  • Entrepreneur Center of Austin at 4029 South Capital of Texas Highway #110
  • The Plan room at Small & Minority Business Resources

Neighbors are welcome to call 311 or 512-974-2000 with questions regarding city services or information.

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