Coe plans observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2017-01-10 13:59:19 - General

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Coe College will partner with community organizations to offer students, faculty and staff opportunities to listen, create, express, celebrate, write, serve and act in honor of King's legacy, as well as his call to justice, peace, unity, nonviolence and freedom. Sponsored by the Coe Committee on Diversity and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, all events are free and open to the public.

"By walking alongside members of the broader Cedar Rapids community, we hope members of the Coe community will be exposed to the various perspectives, will hear stories of resistance, and will be inspired to join the movement that seeks to create and sustain a diverse, inclusive and loving world," said Coe College Chaplain and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Kristin Hutson.

Participation is encouraged in all events, including:

Sunday, Jan. 15

Writers Resist: "Re-Inaugurate" Democracy
2 - 4:30 p.m., Dows Fine Arts Theatre, Coe College
Writers Resist is a performance of readings by diverse, local and nationally known Iowa writers (including Coe students and faculty) around the topics of resistance, social justice, compassion and free speech. Co-sponsored by The Hook, a local writers' guild, this event is part of an international Writers Resist being held on MLK Day and serves as the Cedar Rapids gathering. The performance will be followed by discussion and a reception. Former Iowa State Representative and community leader Tyler Olson will be the emcee for the event.

Monday, Jan. 16

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Gems of Hope Arts and Crafts Workshop
10:30 a.m. - 12 noon, Lynch Room, Lower Gage Union, Coe College
Bring hope and a smile to cancer patients. Everyone is invited to come to a free beading and card making workshop where you will be able to create beautiful things for cancer patients. No experience necessary and all materials will be provided.

Wounded Warrior Card and Letter Writing Workshop 
10:30 a.m. - 12 noon, Lynch Room, Lower Gage Union, Coe College
Come and write letters of support for U.S. Veterans who have experienced combat and injury as they have served our country. Coe senior Nina Wilson and her family have been writing letters for our military for many years and have sent thousands of cards. Don't miss this opportunity to participate.

Speak Up: Exploring Diversity and Unity through Spoken Word & Poetry: A Workshop Led by Akwi Nji
3 - 5 p.m., St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1340 3rd Avenue SE
We can work together to turn our simple words into powerful poetry that celebrates unity, diversity, and justice. It's easier than you might think! Come ready to learn and grow with each other. Free and open to all skill levels.

Community Dinner 
5 p.m., St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1340 3rd Avenue SE
All are invited to a community dinner for fellowship and community building. The meal is free, although a freewill offering will be received and then given to a local nonprofit organization in Cedar Rapids.

Community MLK Day Celebration featuring Akwi Nji as Keynote Speaker
6:30 p.m., St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1340 3rd Avenue SE
Join the entire Cedar Rapids community for a celebration honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. through music, reflections from Akwi Nji (including works created during afternoon writing workshop), and the presentation of the "Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris 'Who Is My Neighbor' Award."

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Coe Student Open Mic
7 p.m., The P.U.B., Gage Memorial Union, Coe College
Coe students will perform both original work and read historical and contemporary works around the issues of social justice, freedom of expression, identity and more. Just come and be ready to participate and listen to your peers.

"Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." - Martin Luther King Jr.