Hesston College’s annual Martin Luther King (MLK) Day celebrations will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion learning opportunities for both the on-campus and broader communities. Public events for the wider community will take place on multiple days leading up to MLK Day on January 20.
“The intersection of the American and Dr. King’s vision can help us all grow, increase our productivity and expand the impact of our businesses, civic leaders, private organizations and residents of our communities,” said Glen Guyton, executive director of Mennonite Church USA who will be the keynote presenter for Hesston’s MLK Day events. “We can do more together, increasing our cultural competence and generating opportunities for our community. That’s what Hesston College’s celebration of MLK’s legacy will be about this year – learning how we can build and offer true community together.”
Hesston College’s public MLK Day events for will begin at 11 a.m. Jan 17 with a forum at Hesston Mennonite Church that will be an introduction to the MLK Day lineup of events and gospel music singing.
at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 19, Guyton will bring the message at Hesston Mennonite Church’s morning worship service.
That same evening, at 7 p.m., Tony Brown will present his one-person stage show, “I Go On Singing: Paul Robeson’s Life in Word and Song,” at Hesston Mennonite Church. Tickets are $12 for adults and can be purchased through the Hesston College Bookstore in Erb Hall or by calling 620-327-8104. Students college-age and younger are free. Tickets will also be available at the door.
“I Go On Singing” recounts the life and work of Paul Robeson, a 20th century African-American entertainer and social activist who was a courageous example of integrity and discipline in the service of peace before the time of influential figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela. In addition to Brown, Victor Hogstrom, president and CEO of KPTS TV Wichita (PBS), will provide the show’s narration.
Brown is an internationally acclaimed baritone and Hesston College artist in residence. His work as a musician takes him to areas of conflict around the world to use music and storytelling for peacebuilding.
At 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at Hesston Mennonite Church, Guyton will present a free community workshop as a resource for anyone interested in community-building.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion were at the heart of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Guyton. “The community workshop will focus on translating those principles into a dream for the future that connects with founding principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
In addition to his role with Mennonite Church USA, Guyton’s professional background includes intercultural competency and working with people from a variety of backgrounds and socio-economic status.