College Holds 39th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration
By Cameron D’Amica, Staff Writer
On Monday, Jan. 21, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Gettysburg college hosted their 39th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at 7 pm in Christ Chapel. The program featured music, prayer, and a moving speech that honored the legacy of King.
The event began with the music of the Biglerville High School Jazz Band, directed by Rei Phillipi. The processional was then led by the Morgan State University Choir singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The Reverend Dr. Kristin Largen, the Chaplain of Gettysburg College, led the whole room in a prayer for the inspiring voices Aretha Franklin and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Morgan State Choir, directed by Dr. Eric Conway, moved the audience to their feet and to tears with their beautiful and resonating voices that gave tribute to King.
The ‘Living the Dream’ Award, presented by the YWCA and United Way of Adams County, honored David Crowner, a retired German professor of Gettysburg College and co-founder of Project Gettysburg-Léon, for his continued devotion to equality and public service.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee raises money for the Adams County Career Aid Project (ACCAP) that helps the low-income residents of Adams County with financial assistance for education and job training. A recipient of a grant from the Adams County Career Aid Project shared his experiences and successes that he was able to accomplish because of the grant he received, and an offering was taken to help aid the effort of Adams County Career Aid Project in helping the community. The offertory music was provided by the Chamber Chorale of the Gettysburg Children’s Choir, directed by Dr. Brent Talbot.
Tonya Mincey, the ACCAP Chair, then introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Scott Hancock, an associate professor of history and Africana Studies at Gettysburg college. Dr. Hancock shared his experience of a Gettysburg College immersion trip to Rwanda, and shared the words of Dr. King with the audience. He had the audience repeat a quote with him: “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice.” Dr. Hancock continued to explain how inaction is never an option and that everyone has power, but what really needs to be considered is how that power will be used. He encouraged the audience to never refuse justice and live through exercising their power to love.
Pastor Victor Johnson of the Brownsville Church of God led the room in a prayer that was thankful for Dr. King and his dream and the work toward equality that has been accomplished and will be accomplished as the world learns to love one another.
The Morgan State Choir ended the celebration with the song “We Shall Overcome” as the audience joined hands and sang along with them, honoring the work of Dr. King and inspired to create a future based on equality.