Lakeland University Blog

Parks and Lewis Plaza dedication highlights MLK celebration

Parks and Lewis Plaza dedication highlights MLK celebration


Parks and Lewis Plaza dedication highlights MLK celebration

Lakeland University on Tuesday dedicated the plaza south of the Younger Family Campus Center in honor of Civil Rights champions Rosa Parks and John Lewis, highlighting a number of events and activities as part of a multi-day celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

LU President Beth Borgen, Director of Multicultural Affairs Le'Shay Guy and Campus Chaplain Julie Mavity Maddalena led the dedication of the Rosa Parks and John Lewis Plaza for Peace, Equity & Justice.

Guy provided an overview of the Civil Rights work by both Parks and Lewis, noting that the space is “dedicated to these Black heroes as a tribute to their work and as inspiration for our own work.”

Mavity Maddalena led the group in prayer, noting the plaza will be a place for conversations as Lakeland works to bring the God-given gifts of peace, equity and justice to the campus community.

Borgen shared a pair of quotes, one from each leader:

  • “I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up.” – Rosa Parks
  • “Every generation leaves behind a legacy. What that legacy will be is determined by the people of that generation. What legacy do you want to leave behind?” – John Lewis

The dedication was one of a number of events set for Monday through Wednesday. Other activities included:

  • A virtual MLK Day service Monday led by Mavity Maddalena. It featured Lakeland students Jasmine Smith, Zachary Cotton and members of the newly formed LU Justice and Equity Committee. Guest speakers were retired Rev. Floyd R. Blair, a motivational speaker, human rights activist and liberation theologian, and Rev. Carolyn C. Blair, a singer, entertainer, producer, writer, director and the associate minister for spiritual growth and development at the Congregational Church of North NY UCC in the Bronx.
  • A campus-wide scavenger hunt Monday via a scavenger hunt app that included MLK-inspired challenges.
  • An MLK Day lunch on Tuesday served by Dining Services that included Southern fried chicken, sweet cornbread with honey, candied sweet potatoes and collard greens (that were prepared by Guy).
  • A campus-wide MLK trivia contest on Wednesday with prizes to the winners, and free cupcakes in the Lauer Center to celebrate MLK's birthday.