MSNBC TV Host to Headline William & Mary MLK Commemoration Program is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry will speak during William & Mary's Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration program. (Photo courtesy of William & Mary)
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry will speak during William & Mary’s Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration program. (Photo courtesy of William & Mary)

The College of William & Mary will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in January with a commemoration program featuring guest speaker Melissa Harris-Perry, a Wake Forest University professor and MSNBC host.

Harris-Perry is scheduled to appear during the William & Mary Center for Student Diversity commemoration program at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in the Sadler Center’s Commonwealth Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the public.

An annual event, the lecture is intended to commemorate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Previous speakers have included Marc Lamont Hill, Roslyn M. Brock, Julianne Malveaux and Cornel West.

Additionally, William & Mary students will have service opportunities available through William & Mary’s Office of Community Engagement over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend of Jan. 15-18.

The Branch Out Regional Alternative Breaks will offer students the opportunity to give back to the community during winter break and learn more about the issues affecting society. All Branch Out Regional trips are free for participants.

Below are the available regional alternative breaks:

  • A Journey of Reconciliation: Investigating William & Mary’s Past with the Lemon Project: Students will spend three days (Jan. 16-18) learning about William & Mary’s history with slavery, Jim Crow laws and racial inequality. In an effort to educate the community about previous racial transgressions and promote equality today, students will help transcribe interviews and other research projects dealing with racial issues. For more information, contact Katherine Webb or Anne Davis.
  • Becoming A Welcoming Community: Refugee Resettlement and Assistance in Newport News: Students will spend three days (Jan. 16-18) assisting parents and children with refugee status living in Newport News. Participating students will be helping with parent and student workshops for families from the Congo, Burundi, Sudan and Afghanistan. The workshops will address topics such as bullying in school and receiving help with homework. For more information, contact Dana Moore or Jia Jia Chen.
  • Home Away From Home: Understanding the Needs of the Critically Ill: Students will spend three days (Jan. 17-19) volunteering with The Doorways, a temporary lodging center for medical patients and their families in Richmond. While volunteering, students will interact with guests and help organize activities including evening entertainment and game nights, as well as take inventory, cook and make boxed lunches for guests. For more information, email John Eckert or Soni Patolia.

In addition to the Branch Out Regional trips, students will have an extra service opportunity Jan. 19 in Williamsburg.

About 40 students will participate in a day of learning, which will split students into small groups that will address different social issues such as hunger, access to housing, healthy families and youth empowerment.

Students will convene in the evening for a panel discussion about the school-to-prison pipeline and a reflection session on furthering Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

With limited space available, students must email Arvin Alaigh by Dec. 21 to register for the event.