CWU News

CWU to Make a Virtual Difference for MLK Day of Service

For the 12th consecutive year, Central Washington University students, faculty, and staff will commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 18. The theme this year is “Black Reality: Who You See vs. Who I Am.” 

Unlike previous years, this CWU remembrance will come with a twist. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the planned events, designed to encourage diversity, inclusion, and understanding, will be virtual or will have participants appropriately distanced.

The events begin Friday, January 15, with “Make a Difference Day,” when Eriqua Collins, a psychology graduate student from Seattle, will virtually join Ellensburg’s Mount Stuart Elementary second- through fifth-grade students to lead a series of activities centered around King’s work and legacy.

On Monday, a physically-distant “Peace March” is set for 3 p.m. on campus. Pre-registration is encouraged by emailing The march will adhere to CWU and state COVID-19 safety protocols. It will start on the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) east patio and include a moment of silence in front of Barge Hall, to honor King, before returning to the SURC.

Also, on Monday, an “MLK Remembrance Program” will be held via Zoom at 4 p.m. (Meeting ID: 835 2472 2989 Passcode: MLK2021). The CWU Diversity and Equity Center (DEC), in partnership with various student groups and departments, will host the virtual celebration.

The program will feature student and faculty participation, the Melany Peterson Gospel Ensemble, and keynote speaker Robert Penton, a pastor, social activist, and columnist for The (Tacoma) News Tribune.

The events are sponsored by the Anthropology and Law and Justice departments, Associated Students of CWU student government, Black Student Union, Brooks Library, Brother 2 Brother, Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, Chavez-King Leadership Institute, DEC, Office of International Studies and Programs, Museum of Culture and Environment, and Westside Student Life.

For more information, contact the DEC at 509-963-2127 or These programs are the first of a variety of additional DEC engagement opportunities that will take place throughout January and February in honor of Black History Month. 

MLK Day, a federal holiday, is designated as a national day of service for Americans to participate in volunteer activities that improve their communities to honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.