WT to celebrate MLK’s legacy with speech reenactment, scholarship contest


CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – According to West Texas A&M University, a live reenactment of the “I Have a Dream” speech and a video essay contest are among the ways the University will recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The University said that the holiday will be celebrated Jan. 18, and WT, like other schools in The Texas A&M University System, will be closed in remembrance of the civil rights leader.

When classes resume on Jan. 19, the University said that students and other campus community members can listen to Julian Reese, head coach of the Amarillo Venom, deliver King’s famous speech at 12:30 p.m. at the Buffalo Fountain on the Vaughan Pedestrian Mall in the center of campus.

Face coverings and social distancing will be required.

This will be the third year Reese has delivered King’s speech, originally delivered during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963. Reenactments have been held every other year since 2017.

“Dr. King’s speech, in which he described his hopes for a land of freedom and equality arising from a country that, for generations, had consigned its Black population to slavery, eloquently describes the goal we are still striving to reach today,” said Angela Allen, WT’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. Her office, along with the Office of Experiential Learning and Campus to Community, are sponsoring the reenactment.

Separately, the University said that the Black Women Association of WTAMU is sponsoring its first Martin Luther King Jr. video essay scholarship contest with the theme “Be the change you want to see.”

The contest is open to all WT undergraduate students, including transfer students. Participating students must address what change they want to see, what they have done and what they plan to do. Prizes are $1,000 for first, $500 for second and $250 for third.

“We want students to be inspired and motivated about making change,” said Angel Ross, BWA event planner. “In order to be the change, you must first be a part of the process. We want to prepare our students with the tools needed to be a part of the change now and in the future.”

Students will be able to enter online by clicking here.

Deadline is Feb. 19.

Winners will be announced at a Black History Month program scheduled for Feb. 26.

BWA plans to host weekly speeches throughout February’s celebration of Black History Month, all speaking on the topic of the scholarship contest. More information will be announced soon.

For information on the video essay contest, contact Angel Ross at 806-651-2761 or aross@wtamu.edu.

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