“Remaking, Reshaping, and Restructuring,” words famously spoken by Coretta Scott King, became Taylor’s focus during Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
On Monday, Jan. 20, the life of Martin Lurther King Jr. was honored with guest chapel speaker Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.
Chapel was followed by five workshop sessions and an interactive play called “Defamation.”
In 1968, a few weeks after her husband's death, Coretta Scott King’s spoke at Harvard University and urged students to “speak out with righteous indignation.”
Inspired by her words today, Reynolds began chapel with crediting Coretta King’s willingness to not only join King’s movement, but continue it 30 years after his death.
“We can’t go back,” Reynolds said.
She spoke on the power of hatred and the progress this country has made since the days of Martin Luther King.
However, she cautioned her audience with work that must be done in order to continue to pave the way for future generations.
Reynolds said that we don’t have the luxury in today’s world to rest and do nothing. We have the moral responsibility to act now and overcome adversity.
“The call is to remold, remodel and rebuild a world that is not working for many of us,” said Reynolds.
In honor of MLK Day, the Writing Center sponsored the second annual MLK writing contest. Freshman Katie Ito was the winner of the competition and wrote a liturgy that she delivered during chapel.
Originally writing her piece as an open letter to God, Ito said she was inspired to broaden her writing so that people could interact with it.
Ito’s liturgy detailed historical atrocities committed against the African American people.
She said that the liturgy was a unique way of the community coming together to help her believe her own truths that she had written.
Ito said that we shouldn’t live under the perception that racism is in the past and therefore we can rejoice and forget about it.
Following chapel, students, staff and members of the community had the chance to engage in workshops presented by faculty members.
The workshops included titles such as, “Understanding Environmental Racism” and “Celebrating the Unity and Diversity of Human Race through the use of Forensics/Science.”
Biblical Studies Professor Ed Meadors spoke on the 1930 lynching in Marion of two African American teenages outside of the courthouse and the role that evil plays.
“I view MLK Day as a day to lament the injustices, cruelties, and manifestations of hatred that have darkened our history,” said Meadors. “It's also a day to honor Martin Luther King's choice of peaceful advocacy of civil and human rights.”
Meadors said that the only way we can overcome evil is with good. That the battle we face is not a bodily one, rather a spiritual one in heavenly places.
“At Taylor, this looks like authentic demonstration of love and respect for everyone. Listening. Suspending judgment. Communicating love, respect and honor toward everyone,” said Meadors.
“Defamation” was an interactive play directed by senior Brielle Fowlkes and performed by Taylor students.
The play highlighted deep-rooted social injustices by making race the main focus, while distracting from the relevant issue at hand.
The focus of MLK Day was to spark conversations, to actively engage and to willingly grieve with brothers and sisters who have suffered.
As quoted from Ito’s liturgy, “Keep this wound open until the day of your second coming when all things will be restored.”