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BYU honors Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 17 with candlelight walk, memorial program

Multicultural Services at Brigham Young University is honoring the life and mission of Martin Luther King Jr. with a candlelight walk and memorial program Monday, Jan. 17. A processional from 5:30 to 6 p.m. will begin at the Carillon Bell Tower, followed by a memorial program in the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom with keynote speaker Darius Gray from 6 to 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Gray is a past president of the Genesis Group, a support group for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are of African descent.  He worked as a reporter for KSL Radio and Television for several years and as a documentary film maker for UNICEF in Africa.

He regularly travels around the United States to lecture on African-American genealogy, blacks in the bible and blacks in the Church of Jesus Christ. He has received many awards from the state of Utah, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Award given by the Utah chapter of the NAACP.

Gray is an alumnus of BYU, the University of Utah and Columbia University.

Participants in the candlelight processional and program will also have the opportunity to hear highlights of important speeches and moments from Dr. King’s life and to listen to the BYU student gospel choir.

“It is important to honor Dr. King each year,” said BYU Multicultural Advisor and Program Director Anthony Bates. “It perpetuates the dream for which he ultimately gave his life.”

“Imagine the effect when many people gather together to honor Dr. King, everyone with his or her own unique experience of life. Each participant learns not only from Dr. King, but others in attendance,” he said. “Every year, I gain something new.”

In addition to the memorial activities, the university's Center for Service and Learning will sponsor a Community Outreach Day from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday.

For more information on this event and Black History Month events at BYU,  visit multicultural.byu.edu.

Writer: Mel Gardner

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