Community Gathers to Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Community members gathered on Monday, Jan. 16, to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. for the first in-person gathering in King’s honor in three years. The events this year centered around the theme, “It Starts with Me: Cultivating a Beloved Community Mindset to Transform Unjust Systems.”

The day began with the All People’s Breakfast and social hour at 7:30 a.m. in Ed Robson Arena, followed by a presentation featuring Mike Edmonds, senior vice president at Colorado College. Edmonds served as copresident during the 2020-21 academic year, which made him the first African American person to lead CC.

“Remembering our history, both our horrific losses and our beautiful achievements, is essential to achieving equity and justice for all,” said Colorado College President L. Song Richardson, the first woman of color to lead CC. “Dr. King understood that we can’t make progress on equity and justice without community.”

A recording of the presentation is available here.

The Pikes Peak Diversity Council hosted a Unity March at 10:15 a.m., where participants walked from the CC campus to Acacia Park to watch performances by local dance and musical performers, as well as hear a talk from Sharon Tunson, assistant dean of High School Programs at Pikes Peak State College.

The world-renowned Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble wrapped up the day’s events in the Kathryn Mohrman Theatre, with the Colorado Springs Chapter Choir of the Gospel Music Workshop of America also performing.

Several elected officials also attended the breakfast, including Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, state legislators, Colorado Springs City Council members, Fountain City Council members, and school board members.

All events were free and open to the public. The breakfast was free due to the generous support of Bon Appétit Food Service, Colorado College, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and EDC, The Edmondson Foundation, UC Health, and USAA.

The central theme continued for Colorado College students, faculty, and staff members, who attended a First Monday talk by Jamie Washington, in the Mohrman Theatre on Monday, Jan. 30. This event was not open to the public.

Washington is the president and founder of the Washington Consulting Group, which was named by The Economist as one of the Top 10 Global Diversity Consultants in the world.

The First Mondays Event Series is a campus-wide forum aimed at engaging members of the CC community and giving them the opportunity to gather and facilitate discourse. Classes are dismissed early on the first Monday of each block so that all students, staff, administrators, and faculty members can participate.

First Monday talks are recorded and uploaded here.

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