OGDEN — Next week, Ogden will honor the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with a breakfast and march, a gospel music festival, and plenty of opportunities for community service.
And hopefully, the weather will cooperate this time.
The week’s activities, organized by Weber State University, will begin on Monday, Jan. 20 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day — with the MLK Freedom Breakfast and March. The breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Marshall White Center, 222 28th St., in Ogden. At 10 a.m., participants will march downtown to the Ogden Amphitheater, at 343 Historic 25th St., for speeches and presentations. Doughnuts, coffee and hot chocolate will be provided. Afterward, at about 11 a.m., participants will march back to the Marshall White Center for a community service project.
Andrea Hernandez, coordinator of the diversity and inclusive programs at WSU, encourages participants to dress warmly for Monday’s march, as they hope to be able to return it to the outdoors this year. The 2019 march was effectively canceled due to weather.
“Last year there was a snowstorm, so we weren’t able to do the physical march outside,” Hernandez said. “But everyone’s spirits and hopes were up, and they really wanted to do a mini march, so some folks marched there in the Marshall White Center. That was an awesome moment.”
Hernandez said she hopes those in the community who aren’t working because of the Monday holiday will come and enjoy the breakfast, march and service project.
“We want to let the community know that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not a day off, but a day on,” Hernandez said. “To commemorate Dr. King, we should do community service in any way we can. I think people are really passionate about this day and look forward to it every year.”
The MLK celebration will continue with events and activities throughout next week, including:
• At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, a Special Olympics Talent Show will be offered in the Shepherd Union Building’s Wildcat Theater on campus, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden.
• At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Done-in-a-Day Service Project will be held in Shepherd Union Building Room 321. Volunteers will assemble food kits for the Weber Cares Pantry.
• At 1:30 p.m. Jan. 24, an after-school enrichment activity for the kids of the YMCA will be offered at DaVinci Academy, 2033 Grant Ave., Ogden.
• At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24, the annual Weber State University Gospel Music Festival will be held in the Browning Center’s Austad Auditorium at Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden. Admission to the festival is free, but organizers encourage donations of canned goods and other nonperishable food items to share with the Weber Cares Pantry on campus.
• And finally, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 25, Family Enrichment Day will be presented at Hill Aerospace Museum, 7961 Wardleigh Road, Hill Air Force Base. Volunteers will assist with registering families to attend the museum.
All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 801-626-6957.
Hernandez said that since Martin Luther King Jr. Day occurs in January, she hopes it sets the tone for the remainder of the year, encouraging community members to “start your year and lead with compassion, empathy, and understanding; share the stories of your struggles; support one another; and amplify each other’s voices.”
“It’s always important for us to humble ourselves and give back to this great community of Ogden that has given so much to us,” Hernandez said. “The week is a chance to reflect on what all of us can do together when we have a solid goal and a vision. The vision that Dr. King gave us, we’re working toward that vision again.”