Clemson plans events for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

CLEMSON — Clemson University is observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year with a series of events Jan. 20 to 23.

The 14th annual MLK Day of Service and blood drive will be Monday, Jan. 20, on the MLK Day holiday. Students, faculty and staff will use their days off as a day to help others around the community. Check in for the day of service begins at 8 a.m. at the Hendrix Student Center. Volunteers will be transported to various community agencies to work until noon. Agencies participating include the Animal Rescue Fund, Clemson Child Development Center, Foothills YMCA, Our Daily Bread, Pickens County Habitat for Humanity and The Arts Center.

The blood drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday in Hendrix Student Center meeting rooms A and B. Volunteers are encouraged to donate blood after returning from the service sites.

An MLK Commemorative Service will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, in Tillman Hall auditorium. Civil rights activist and former freedom rider Bob Zellner will deliver the keynote at the service. Zellner was the first white southerner to serve as field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Throughout the 1960s, he was active in a number of civil rights efforts, including the Southern Conference Education Fund, for which he helped organize an anti-racism project called GROW (Grass Roots Organizing Work) for black and white workers in the Deep South. Zellner was featured in the documentary “Come Walk in my Shoes” and published the memoir “The Wrong Side of Murder Creek, A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement.”

The observance will continue with a public forum at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the Clemson House Holmes Ballroom. The “Racism Revisited” forum is intended to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s aspirations for a post-racial society by addressing contemporary issues in an historical context. Award-winning presenter and author Bryant Smith will facilitate the discussion, which is open to participation from students, faculty, staff and members of the community.

The events will conclude with the Tunnel of Oppression from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Hendrix Student Center. The tunnel will have simulations of different kinds of discrimination and oppression and related issues, including sexual orientation discrimination, racial discrimination, body image issues, socioeconomic status discrimination, domestic violence and suicide awareness.

All events are free and open to the public.