Penn State Behrend Remembers Dr. King's Message of Leadership and Activism

The Office of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs at Penn State University Behrend Campus, headed by Director Andy Herrera and Assistant Director Aacha Gregg, honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a “Campus Family Brunch.” The community brunch took place in the McGarvey Commons Auditorium, which was alive with positive energy as the Key Arts Productions cast presented Young Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, a multimedia presentation about the history of student activism during the civil rights movement and beyond.

Joseph Patterson of Key Arts provided thoughtful commentary accompanied by video-projected images of a rich history of young activists like Ruby Bridges, the Little Rock Nine, and the Freedom Fighters, a group of university students who risked it all for change. “Would you leave the comforts of your campus and dorms to go out and make a difference?” Patterson asked the audience. The powerful voices of Nathan Harmon and Tasha Montfort filled the room with moving songs that engaged audience members and reminded them that university students, like those before them, can make a difference in today’s world. “The presentation was powerful, and the music was incredible,” a campus faculty member noted.

The community brunch was part of a week of events and activities that began with an Annual Martin Luther King March and Events in Downtown Erie. The march included The Association of Black Collegians and other members of the campus community.

PSU Behrend students traveled to Penn State Beaver campus to participate in an MLK Day of Service. The campus MLK celebration ended with a screening of At the River I Stand, The Climax of the Civil Rights Movement, which covers the dramatic climax of the Civil Rights movement in Memphis, Tennessee, in the Spring of 1968.