Editorial: Reflecting on 30 years of honoring MLK at BW

It is not a surprise that colleges around the country honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a week of remembrance, but seldom does a college practice this week of celebration for 30 years and counting.

Jan. 25 marked the end of the week-long celebration held by Baldwin Wallace to honor MLK. Not only were the students of BW active in celebrating, but the community of Berea joined in on the festivities.

By engaging the community as well as the Berea students from high school to college level, the university has created something that is widely accepted in Berea and is here to stay for many more years to come.

Overall, the impact of this event has been beneficial for the community of Berea because students have been empowered and have gained a wider perspective of the world.

For 30 years, BW has dedicated a week to honor MLK. During this week of celebration, events are held for students and community members to emulate the life MLK led. Those partaking in the events planned are urged to value each other’s humanity and become leaders in our society. This adds to the goal of the event

Not only is BW honoring an incredible man in history, but the MLK week shapes the new generations. Students of the entire Berea area are being exposed to an inspiring legacy that is meant to teach said students how to live their lives as humanitarians.

This being the 30th annual MLK week, BW added events in addition to the traditional Candlelight March and Prayer Breakfast. By adding events, the university is able to keep the week of celebration current and engaging.

One added event that was popular among students was the free, private showing of “Just Mercy” at the Regal Middleburg Town Square. Another event was the “Transform the World Fair,” which gave service organizations throughout Cleveland the opportunity to share their messages with the community of Berea.

If the university continues to add events to the MLK week of celebration to engage students of Berea and the rest of the community, this momentous commemoration will always be a staple in BW tradition.

American civil rights movement architect, James M. Lawson Jr., graduated from BW in the late 1940s and “connected with others who shared his belief that racism is best defeated through nonviolent measures,” according to cleveland.com.

As one of the first colleges in the United States to admit students regardless of race or gender, BW has a responsibility to history and the MLK week is a perfect example of how the university honors the past and will continue to in the future.