MSU and USM Martin Luther King Day Events and Millsaps Humanities Award | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

MSU and USM Martin Luther King Day Events and Millsaps Humanities Award

Donald Shaffer, an associate professor of English and director of African American Studies at Mississippi State University, will serve as the keynote speaker at the university's 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast and Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 20. Photo by Megan Bean

Donald Shaffer, an associate professor of English and director of African American Studies at Mississippi State University, will serve as the keynote speaker at the university's 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast and Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 20. Photo by Megan Bean

Donald Shaffer, an associate professor of English and director of African American Studies at Mississippi State University, will serve as the keynote speaker at the university's 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast and Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 20.

Shaffer's speech, "Road to Reconciliation," will examine King's legacy as both a touchstone for racial reconciliation and a challenge to act, a release from MSU says. Shaffer joined the MSU faculty in 2008 and serves as chair of the African American Studies curriculum committee and as a board member of the Mississippi Humanities Council.

The MSU Day of Service begins at 8 a.m. with a complimentary breakfast at 8 a.m. in The Mill at the MSU Conference Center (600 Russell St., Starkville). Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. MSU President Mark E. Keenum will give welcoming remarks during the breakfast, and the campus's Black Voices Gospel Choir will perform.

After the breakfast, MSU's Maroon Volunteer Center and Volunteer Starkville will begin the Day of Service activities at 9 a.m. Volunteer opportunities are available at Boys and Girls Club-Columbus, Boys and Girls Club-Starkville, Camp Seminole, Christian World Missions, Council of Community Organizations, Habitat ReStore, Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, J.L. King Senior Memorial Park, McKee Park, Moncrief Park, Ms. Smith's Educational Services, MSU Community Garden, Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Odd Fellows/Brush Arbor Cemetery, Oktoc Fire Department, Operation Ukraine-Columbus, Palmer Home Thrift Store-Columbus, Palmer Home Thrift Store-Starkville, Sally Kate Winters-West Point, United Way and other locations.

For more information, including volunteer service-day locations and projects, visit here or call 662-325-0244.

USM Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical and Interracial Prayer Breakfast

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Randolph will give the keynote address at the University of Southern Mississippi's 14th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical and Interracial Prayer Breakfast. The event begins on Monday, Jan. 20, at 7 a.m. in the Thad Cochran Center on USM's Hattiesburg campus.

Former Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Randolph to the Mississippi Supreme Court in 2004 to replace then-Chief Justice Edwin Pittman, who retired that year before his term expired. Randolph successfully ran for the position later that year and was re-elected in 2012. He became presiding justice in 2013 and chief justice in 2019.

The Mu Gamma Lambda and Mu Xi chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., will present the event, which is free and open to the public. Alpha Phi Alpha will also recognize recipients of its community service, community impact, humanitarian, Douglass T. Baker and Friend of Alpha Phi Alpha awards during the breakfast, and USM will present students from local high schools with college textbook scholarships.

For more information on the Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical and Interracial Prayer Breakfast, visit usm.edu or find the event on Facebook.

Millsaps Professor Receives Humanities Teacher Award

The Mississippi Humanities Council recently presented David Davis, an associate professor of history at Millsaps College, with its annual Humanities Teacher Award.

Davis earned a bachelor's degree in history and biblical studies from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, a master's degree in history from Baylor University in Texas and a master's degree in African history from Northwestern University in Illinois.

He joined the Millsaps faculty in 1988 serving as a visiting assistant professor at Brown University in Rhode Island for four years. During his time with Millsaps, Davis has served as associate dean of arts and humanities, interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college and as director for self-designed majors.

As the recipient of the MHC Humanities Teacher Award, Davis will give a public lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 4 p.m. in the McMullan Lecture Hall in Millsaps' Selby and Richard McRae Christian Center. The lecture, titled "The Shadow of Death: Southern Baptists and the Politics of Compassion in the Nigeria-Biafra War 1967 - 70," will focus on stories of heroism and self-sacrifice during the Nigerian Civil War, a release from Millsaps says. Millsaps will host a reception after the lecture.

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