Emory & Henry College held its annual celebration of the legacy and accomplishments of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. by highlighting the history of civil rights in the U.S. through a series of events entitled, “Good Trouble Comes in All Colors: Allyship Matters.” Typically, the college would host the series of events in person on the Emory campus, but MLK events took place digitally this year.
Xuan Wang-Wolf, Director of Online Education, was part of the team that organized the events, and expressed that the process was intensive, but well worth it.
“We started our planning process a few months ago,” Wang-Wolf said. “The whole planning process has been a collaborative effort across units, disciplines, and departments. It has required a lot of coordination among various speakers and stakeholders on and off campus.”
This year, MLK week occurred after some monumental events took place in the world.
“We took into consideration what has happened lately in the world and how we, as citizens of the United States, could contribute towards democracy and join in advancing the equity and social justice that we all believe in,” she said.
Wang-Wolf believes the topics and content of the events are also relevant to E&H students’ lives.
“It is optimal for our students at E&H to attend our MLK Celebration of Events. Our students are future leaders in their designated fields,” she said. “I believe that it is crucial that they engage with matters of social justice so that they can better contextualize where we are today and help shape where we’re going tomorrow as a society. Together, we can make a difference.”
Even though the events were held in an untraditional manner, Wang-Wolf believes they went smoothly.
“All the events are going as planned. Our students, faculty, and staff actively participated in almost all sessions, and it has been a great turnout,” Wang-Wolf said.
Savana Ratliff, a first-year student at E&H, was one of many who attended one of the sessions. The event that particularly stood out to her was the slam poetry workshop
“It gave me a new perspective on how so many songs are inspired by what the artist has gone through with their own racial experiences,” she said.
Wang-Wolf expressed gratitude to students and community members like Ratliff for participating in the events, and to the other faculty members for helping plan them.
“I want to thank our leadership team, President Wells, VP Holloway, and Rev. Sharon Bowers, our planning committee, our guest speakers, as well as our students who participate, reflect, and take action to impact the world now and in the future,” she said. “It has been a wonderful experience in knowing that we are making a difference.”