Service projects herald MLK Day

Locals will be celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. today through discussion, prayer and serving their community.

Although the Winchester-Clarke-Frederick chapter of the NAACP isn’t holding any events this year, youth chair Vivian Walker will again lead the chapter in community service efforts as part of the United Way’s service project. Along with other groups, the youth will be packing and delivering bags of resources and literature for those in need in Winchester.

The Warren-Page chapter of the NAACP will not be hosting a program for the holiday either this year. Alford Carter III, the chapter’s membership chairman, said that after the efforts put into the September freedom fund banquet, any events this year wouldn’t have been planned or executed to a higher standard.

“If we couldn’t put it on first class, we wouldn’t put it on at all,” he said, adding that the chapter is still planning on a 2017 program.

Lord Fairfax Community College will hold its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at its Middletown campus from noon to 1 p.m today. There, students will contribute with music and poetry before Tyson Gilpin, education committee chair of the Winchester NAACP chapter, makes his own presentation.

Find out details on the celebration at http://tinyurl.com/jdes2px.

Shenandoah University has added a few events to its roster this year and still encourages its students to volunteer in some capacity on the holiday, which also marks the beginning of the spring semester. Classes are not in session for the day – instead, the Day of Service will offer plenty of opportunities to help out with projects in the community.

Several organizations will be packaging meals for Stop Hunger Now at the Shingleton Gymnasium. A newly introduced campus conversation titled “Navigating Difference: A Conversation About Race & Inclusivity” will offer an open forum with moderators to students, faculty and staff.

Rhonda VanDyke Colby, vice president for student life at the university, said that SU will see the beginning of the new semester land on Martin Luther King Jr. Day starting this year and onward. She said the conversation is meant to lessen the discomfort and tension of racial differences while bringing reflection to the day’s celebration.

“We thought this would be wonderful to create a facilitative forum to say, on the issues of race: where are we getting it right … and where do we still have work to do?” she said.

As in years previous, the university will host a Service of Remembrance at the Goodson Chapel, followed by a candlelight march to the Brandt Student Center. This year, the march will bear luminaria made by those participating in a new project initiative earlier in the day.

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester will be showing “Selma” at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6, but the first 30 SU students to show their ID will be admitted free.

Learn more about different events at SU by visiting http://www.su.edu/events/.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com