Student clubs on campus were the driving forces behind MLK week, NYU’s annual weeklong event dedicated to the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The MLK committee, led by Assistant Vice President for Student Diversity Monroe Francis, worked with multi-cultural clubs across campus to bring about a diverse collection of events.
In addition to the Black Student Union, clubs involved included the Academic Achievement Program, which supports underrepresented students on campus, and the African Heritage Month Committee. Also represented were Gentlemen of Quality and Women of Excellence, Strength and Tenacity — two groups which unite and empower students of color.
The week’s opening gala, “Afro-Elegance: A Night of Unity,” was held in the Union Square Ballroom as a collaborative effort between the Academic Achievement Program and the African Heritage Month Committee.
“We wanted to use these events to showcase our diversity and come together to support and be proud of one another,” said CAS junior and AAP staff member Chinekwu Osakwe. “Because MLK week is the first week in Black History/African Heritage month, we wanted to create an event that would energize and empower our community.”
The Gentlemen of Quality worked with Tandon School of Engineering to put on a production of “The Meeting” at the Tandon campus’s Pfizer Auditorium on Friday. In the play, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. meet up with one another after Malcolm X’s house is bombed and prior to his assassination.
GQ member Christopher Hearns hosted a post-show discussion on behalf of the organization and explained GQ’s connection to the production, highlighting the lives of these men of color.
“People such as Dr. King and Malcolm X made it their life’s mission to give people like us opportunities to be where we are,” Hearns said. “So it is only natural that we pay homage to them, and more importantly honor their pursuits by picking up where they left off.”
The BSU also teamed up with AHM for the MLK day of service. On Saturday the two organizations painted the walls of M.S. 53, a public school in Far Rockaway Queens, to benefit local educational communities.
The motivated individuals involved in NYU’s variety of student clubs were responsible for the success of MLK week and will continue to promote racial awareness and inclusion in events to come.
A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 8 print edition. Email Imani Johnson at [email protected]