WVSU to Help Mark 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

Contact: Erika L. Forsythe
(304) 766-3363

Aug. 22, 2013
WVSU to Help Mark 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University (WVSU) and the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs are partnering to sponsor a ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 28, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington D.C. and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony will be held at the West Virginia State Capitol building, in front of the Courtyard facing the north steps beginning at 2 p.m. and will feature talks on “Freedom to Participate in Government,” “Freedom to Peacefully Co-Exist” and “Freedom to Prosper in Life.” It is free and open to the public.

The ceremony will conclude at 3 p.m. with a pledge from The King Center and a ceremonial bell ringing followed by a reception. Music for the ceremony will be provided by the WVSU Jazz Ensemble. 

 “The students of the WVSU Jazz Ensemble are thrilled and excited to take part in the celebration of such a momentous occurrence in history,” said Scott Woodard, interim dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at WVSU.  “The legacy and impact of Dr. King’s work is particularly important to successive generations.  As years pass, and those who experienced firsthand the power of Dr. King’s message leave us, we must strive to educate the youth of our nation with his message of non-violent change.  This is our task and we gladly accept it.”

This event is part of a nationwide celebration brought about by The King Center, in which every state has been asked to join in a bell-ringing commemoration at 3 p.m. to pay tribute to the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963.  This peaceful demonstration was the largest ever seen in Washington, D.C., attended by an estimated 250,000 people, and was the venue where Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The King Center was established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King to teach and inspire people, as well as honor and pay respect to the legacy of Dr. King and his message. For more information, visit www.thekingcenter.org.

In 2012, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed legislation establishing the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, the state's first statewide office dedicated to minority issues.  For more information, visit www.minorityaffairs.wv.gov or call (304) 558-3179.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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