Diego De Jesus 

The Simmons Center for Multicultural Appreciation along with multiple student organizations are celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in the Jenkins Field House at 11 a.m. with guest speaker Sheila McCants on Jan. 20 for the MLK Day of Impact.

The event is a celebration of what Dr. King believed in and preached out. It is a message that is still being practiced today; a message of giving back. The amount of organizations that are partnered in this event as well as student led collaborations shows that this is something that Florida Southern students care about.

“We make the campus aware that we do honor Martin Luther King. And appreciate what he’s done for everyone,” Lewis said. “Over the past five years, it really has grown. This is due to our partnership with the SGA, ACE, CSI and MSC.” 

The director of the Simmons Center for Multicultural Appreciation, Brenda Lewis, organized the event including McCants’ speech delivery. McCants comes from from Hillsborough Community College. She is Lewis’ colleague, whom she’s known for many years, that attends the same conferences and has a passion for Dr. King and his message.

“It is a committee of students, faculty, and staff who helps plan and carry out the event as a whole” Lewis said. “We’ve had many individuals coming to this event from Evett L. Simmons, the woman who established the Simmons Center for students to be themselves, to the mayor or Lakeland.” 

After the event, KidsPACK, a local student-run service project will be packing lunch for kids that don’t have access to food after school hours.

“I joined the Simmons Center for Multicultural Appreciation last March and this is a brand new and exciting experience for me” Multicultural Coordinator, Lauren Outler said. “I’m super excited to see the campus come together, judging from the pre-event, everyone is involved and it shows tradition which spreads a good message.” 

On Feb. 3 in the Simmons Center at 5:30 p.m., the Simmons Center for Multicultural Appreciation is hosting the Wall of Oppression. Students can put messages on the walls of the Simmons Center that demonstrate every student’s experiences of witnessed or experienced oppression. 


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