Every year a committee of staff, faculty and administration meet in order to find ways to integrate the local Goshen community with the college campus to facilitate intercultural communication. The committee has decided that the best way to do so has been the Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day.

The theme for this year’s MLK Study day is “Be Brave, Show Grace: Advancing Intercultural Action.” The board, headed by Jessica Baldanzi, associate professor of English, DaVonne Kramer, diverse student programs coordinator, Gilberto Perez, Jr., senior director of intercultural development and educational partnerships, Hannah Sauder, a senior, Regina Shands-Stoltzfus, assistant professor of PJCS and Armarlie Grier, a junior, decided on the theme after reflecting on the passionate views the Goshen College student body holds in regards to intercultural communication and social justice. It is also a response to recent acts of racial inequality and injustice.

The Chamber of Commerce, organizations partnered with the Center for Intercultural and International Education (CIIE) and the overall Goshen community is invited to attend the Community Breakfast beginning at 7:45am. The program will include a performance from Voices-N-Harmony, the college’s gospel choir, and the keynote speaker Ewuaure Osayande, the anti-oppression coordinator of Mennonite Central Committee and current professor of African American studies at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. Approximately 200 tickets have been purchased for this event.

Other events for the weekend include a Voices-N-Harmony concert Sunday night, which is eligible for convocation credit; the annual poetry coffeehouse; a class entitled “Conversations on Race in the Era of Ferguson, MO” taught by Regina Shands Stoltzfus; convocation 10:00am Monday with Reverend Kanyere Eaton, the pastor of Fellowship Covenant Church; and workshops held by various individuals including Anne Berry, ’99 graduate of Goshen College and professor of visual communication design at the University of Notre Dame; Rich Meyer, director of Elkhart Country Clubhouse; and the students of Shands Stoltzfus’s Conversation on Race class.

As for the actual study day, the poetry coffeehouse and talkback with performances from our own student body is a great way to see your friends share their own personal experiences through poetry and short story, written both by professionals and by students themselves.