January 24, 2022

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Here’s how Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be celebrated in the Upstate

Last year, it was COVID-19 that changed how many observed the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This year, some Upstate celebrations commemorating King are not only being impacted by COVID-19, but by the potential for harsh, wintry weather to storm parts of the Upstate this weekend.

Here’s what we know about some of the MLK Day events still planned, as well as those re-scheduled or cancelled.

28th Annual Unity Sports MLK celebration

Given the health care issues that arose during the pandemic, Unity Sports has chosen “Healthy People Create Healthy Communities” as its theme for the 28th Annual Unity Sports MLK celebration. It will be a live-streamed event featuring Dr. Shaniece Criss and the Blake Slaughter Project.

Criss is a community-engaged qualitative researcher addressing health equity and health communication and a Health Science faculty member at Furman University.

The Blake Slaughter Project is a group led by Blake Slaughter, a nationally recognized 15-year-old Jazz guitarist who began studying the instrument at the age of 5.

Allison Kranyak, a University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville student, will give a live demonstration of a healthy plant-based breakfast easily made at home.

The first place winner of the Hillcrest Middle School essay contest based on this year’s theme will read his or her essay.

The program is being streamed from the Sterling Community Center and can be viewed live on the Unity Sports Soccer Club YouTube Channel and Facebook page.

Being a Stone Catcher: Learning, Acting and Teaching Nonviolence

This Zoom event will be hosted by the South Carolina Interfaith Power & Light (SCIPL), Atlantic Institute, My Neighbor’s Voice, SCOPE 50, SC Poor People’s Campaign and Sustaining Way.

The event will be moderated by WCBD- TV journalist Carolyn Murray. The 90 minute event will be at 11 a.m. Monday. All South Carolina residents are invited to register in advance on Eventbrite.

Joey Withinarts poses for a photo with a drawing he made of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Pastor Gerald Williams, the keynote speaker at the city of Greer’s annual MLK celebration at city hall, Monday, January 18, 2021.

Joey Withinarts poses for a photo with a drawing he made of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Pastor Gerald Williams, the keynote speaker at the city of Greer’s annual MLK celebration at city hall, Monday, January 18, 2021.

20th Annual Dr. MLK Jr. Celebration Luncheon— Greer

Presented by Prisma Health and Greer Memorial Hospital, this event was originally scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Events Center at Greer City Hall. But due to the weather forecasts, it has been rescheduled to 6 p.m., Jan. 24.

The entertainment will be provided by Gary Sherman Jr., Katrell Sherman, Terry Paden, and St. Mark United Methodist Choir. The keynote speaker will be “Pastor Tee.” Big Boys Country Cooking will provide a meal.

Limited tickets can be purchased by visiting the City of Greer Parks and Recreation Department. Tickets are $5. Attendees are also asked to bring a canned good item for Greer Relief.

MLK Day of Service Litter Cleanup — Greenville County

This event, sponsored by Greenville County, has been cancelled.

“We encourage the more 100 volunteers who already signed-up to take the spirt of service with them throughout the month and do some pick up in their neighborhoods when the weather cooperates,” Greenville County spokesperson Bob Mihalic said in an email.

MLK Service Drive: Greenville Reentry Coalition Collection

United Way of Greenville County and the Greenville Reentry Coalition will hold a special service drive to provide work-related clothing and transportation resources to formerly incarcerated individuals.

Requested items (much be new, never used):

  • Belts – one size/adjustable preferred; or sizes 32-42

  • Bus passes – available for purchase from GreenLink

  • Shoes – slip resistant, steel toe; sizes M 9-13 and W 6-10

  • Plain t-shirts/polo shirts – sizes M-2XL

  • Work pants – sizes 32×30 and up

All items will be collected during a community drop off day on Friday, Jan. 22 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at United Way of Greenville County, located at 105 Edinburgh Court, Greenville, SC 29607.

Bob Jones University

Bob Jones University students, faculty and staff will participate in the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Monday, Jan. 17.

“Due to the pandemic, our service opportunities were limited last year. We look forward to getting back into the community and helping local organizations with projects,” said BJU President Steve Pettit. “We encourage our students to use their day off from classes to help others.”

This year, students will be serving at various locations across Greenville County including Miracle Hill, Meals on Wheels, the Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center, Home Works of America and the Upstate Circle of Friends.

Students from Bob Jones University volunteer at Conestee Park in Greenville, SC on January 18th, 2021. (Bradley Allweil)

Students from Bob Jones University volunteer at Conestee Park in Greenville, SC on January 18th, 2021. (Bradley Allweil)

2022 MLK events at Clemson University

January 17 – Day of Service

  • 10 – 11 a.m., A Virtual Community Partner Panel will feature a conversation with Clemson community partners and student organizations on campus. Students will learn what local nonprofits need from volunteers to make Clemson a better place.

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., During this Virtual Poverty Simulator, students will engage in a highly interactive role-playing experience designed to help participants to understand the challenges and realities of families in low-income scenarios.

Blood Drive

40th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Keynote Program

  • 6 p.m., Tuesday — This program will feature Marc Lamont Hill, host of BET News, a former political contributor for CNN, and an award-winning journalist. The event is free and open to the public, however there will be limited in-person attendance at the Brook Center for the Performing Arts. You can register here. A livestream of this event will be available here.

Pass the Mic: Amplifying Voices in the Margins

  • 7-9 p.m., Thursday — During this program held at the Watt Family Innovation Center auditorium, Clemson University students will share their art with the campus community for an opportunity to be recognized for their work. All work has been inspired by King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

MLK Civil Rights Trip: A virtual experience

The Clemson Area African American Museum is commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision through attending the following exhibits: “Mirrored Hues: Seeing Self in the Colors” by Ashley Mintz and the Rosenwald Schools exhibit. The Clemson Area African American Museum is located at 214 Butler Street, Clemson, SC 29631.

If you have an event or a cancellation you’d like to add to this list, please email the information to [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Some Upstate SC MLK Day events impacted by COVID, winter weather

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