Martin Luther King Jr. Honored & Celebrated at BYU [UPDATED]

Author’s Note: I have updated this post to include quotes from Margaret Young of BYU and I have corrected the identification of the keynote speaker (1/23/13 4:50 Mountain Time).

The Brigham Young University campus honored Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday in a variety of campus activities.

With classes cancelled for the national holiday, students participated in service activities during the day in and around the Wilkinson Students Center. The activities ranged from making quilts and toys to donating blood.

The day was wrapped up with a march…always a fitting way to honor Martin Luther King Jr. The candle-light walk started at the Carillon Bell Tower. The march ended at the Wilkinson Student Center.

The symbolism of the march ended at the Wilkinson Center is deep since the late-BYU President Ernest Wilkinson was an ardent critic of the Civil Rights Movement.

“In 1965, BYU featured the film _Civil Riots_ in the Varsity Theater,” noted BYU English Instructor Margaret Young in an interview with FPR. “It depicted the civil rights movement as a Communist plot.”

Yet, the events like those held on campus Monday are a sign of positive change on the campus of BYU, said Young who along with Darius Gray brought us the documentary Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormon.

“Though we work with a grossly inadequate budget as we honor Dr. King in 2013, the fact that we do it at all–and that many of us teach Dr. King’s works–is a sign of enormous growth and even repentance,” said Young.

The keynote speaker at the Monday night’s vigil was the amazing Cathy Stokes.

The events were sponsored by BYU’s Multicultural Student Services and BYU’s Center for Service and Learning as part of a larger Community Outreach Day in conjunction with Utah Valley University and the United Way of Utah County.

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