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C of I hosts multiple events this weekend to celebrate MLK Day

January 17, 2019

The annual Martin Luther King Day celebrations on The College of Idaho campus will extend over two days, starting with a Sunday candlelight march from downtown Caldwell to the Langroise Center for the Performing Arts and various events continuing through Monday.  All of the events are free and open to the public.

Director of Inclusion and Intercultural Engagement Arnoldo Hernandez discussed the plans with members of the campus AFRO (African Americans, Friends, Relatives, and Others) Club and the goal is simple: awareness.

“Some of them (members of the AFRO Club) didn’t even know who Martin Luther King was because they’re coming from other countries,” Hernandez said. “We think that everyone automatically knows, even though he impacted the whole world, so it is creating awareness.”

Hernandez said the school was excited to include Cherie Buckner-Webb, Idaho’s first African American female state senator, in Sunday’s march. She will provide a keynote address at the end of the march at the Langroise Center. He also said that Lisa Sanchez of the Boise City Council will be involved in Monday afternoon’s panel discussion. Sanchez is the first Latina woman to earn a spot on Boise’s city council.

“Our theme is ‘progress through reflection,’” Hernandez said of not only the panel discussion, but also the events as a whole. “Where were we back in the Martin Luther King days and where are we today? Have we made any progress? I would have to say that we probably have, more in some areas than others.”

There is a strong emphasis on engaging the community as a whole in the College’s events, something that Hernandez says can be “a teaching moment for all of us.”

Here is a look at the list of events being put on by The College.

Sunday, Jan. 20

Solidarity Candle Light March will start at the Caldwell Downtown Plaza at 7 p.m., and end at The College of Idaho’s Langroise Center for the Performing Arts. The March will be led by Cherie Buckner–Webb, Idaho State Legislator, who will then provide a keynote address.     

Monday, Jan. 21

Farmway Village service project and poverty experience hosted by ALAS will start at 9 a.m. and end at noon. The objective is to visit a historically significant labor camp, and learn about the role immigrant laborers played on local economies and the agriculture industry. Vans will leave from McCain parking at 8:30 a.m. While at Farmway Village, students will engage in service, and experience a simulated poverty condition. If interested, call (208) 989-2056 or email [email protected].

Poverty Simulation, hosted by ISO (International Student Association) and facilitated by YMCA’s Claudia Suastegui, will start at 10:30 a.m. in Simplot South Dining Hall. The objective of the poverty simulation experience is to sensitize participants to the realities faced by low-income families.

Hygiene Kits Service Project hosted and facilitated by ISO will start at 11 a.m. in Simplot South Dining Hall. The objective of this project is to organize the hygiene kits, which will be distributed to local schools to benefit homeless students in Canyon County.

“Progress through Reflection” Panel Discussion hosted by AFRO Club and moderated by Becky Ahikiriza and Irvin Brown will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the Langroise Recital Hall. Panelists include Mee-Ae Kim – professor of History, Lisa Sanchez – Boise City Council, Van Beechler – Chair of the LGBTA Democratic Caucus, and a soon to be announced interfaith representative.

The College of Idaho has a 128-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit