South Celebrates MLK Day with Event Series


Posted on January 13, 2022
Joy Washington


In celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and in recognition of Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 17, the University of South Alabama will host a series of in-person and virtual events. All events are free and open to the USA community and the public.

The calendar of events includes a keynote address sponsored by USA’s African American Studies department. The lecture, “Creating a ‘Beloved Community’ for Africatown with Technology-Based Service Learning” is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, in-person at the Humanities Building, Room 170, or via Zoom. Please visit the website for information. The address will be presented by the Director of the Geographic Information Sciences Laboratory, Dr. David A. Padgett, associate professor of geography, who serves as the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Partner and Trainer for TSU. Padgett also has been named an EthicalGEO Fellow of the American Geographical Society in support of his project “Democratizing Geospatial Technology: A Model for Providing Technical Assistance in Community Based Participatory Mapping to Environmental Justice Stakeholder Communities.”

Dr. Kern Jackson, USA’s director of African American Studies, and Dr. Joel Billingsley, interim chief director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, say that USA’s MLK Celebration is a time for the community to join together and reflect on the work of Dr. King, and how the University is collaborating with the community to continue his legacy of service, unity and compassion.

“This is a scientist who believes in Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Beloved Community,” Jackson said. “Dr. Padgett is very influential and will remain involved in an ongoing geographic project in Africatown around livability and environmental concerns. His work in Africatown and other areas around the country is important to share as we come together to remember Dr. King.”

Additional events scheduled for the week include:

Advancing Equity: An Intergenerational Conversation
Jan. 13, 6- 7:30 p.m.
A virtual intergenerational panel discussion on advancing equity, moderated by news veteran Kelly Finley and co-hosted by the University of South Alabama and People United to Advance the Dream Mobile. Panelists include: Dr. Raoul Richardson, CEO of Genesis Global Group; Kim Tran, Boat People SOS, Community Health Worker; Dr. Jeremiah Newell, Founder and Superintendent of MAEF Public Charter Schools; Ester Deagular, Owner, Technical Aviation Services; USA student Matthew Kowalski, and recent USA graduate Tory Sanders. Register here to receive the Zoom link. 

MLK Jr. 2022 Day of Service
Saturday, Jan. 15, 9–11 a.m.
Join Mobile United's Natural Resources Committee and the Mobile City Council for an outdoor day of service. This year, the cleanup is expanding to offer a site in each of the seven city council districts. Participation is free, but pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Visit the website to sign up.

Connections: Service with Inclusive Practices
Mon., Jan. 17, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Join the University of South Alabama and United Way of Southwest Alabama for a virtual community conversation that will provide a platform for volunteers to share their questions and comments about volunteering with diverse populations. The goal for this session is to guide the development of future workshops on service with inclusive practices. Register here to receive the Zoom link.

Annual Dr. King March & Rally
Mon., Jan. 17, 12–2  p.m.
Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at this year's Dr. King Community March and Rally. The March starts at Noon at Dearborn YMCA downtown, followed by a rally at Lyons Park at 1:00 p.m. Hosted by People United to Advance the Dream Mobile. 


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