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MLK Week

Celebrated on the third Monday in January, MLK Day is a federal holiday that celebrates the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The day was first recognized in 1986, following a declaration by President Ronald Reagan. Dr. King, who dedicated his life to serving others and fighting for justice, is recognized as a hero and leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King’s numerous speeches, non-violent stance, and accomplishments have served as inspiration to generations of Americans. The University of Mount Union observes this federal holiday by holding no classes, and providing opportunities for service and reflection. The MLK Awards and Alpha Phi Alpha Book prize, given during the same week, are ways in which the university honors individuals who embody Dr. King’s vision through works of advocacy and social justice. 


Monday, January 15 - MLK Day of Service, Beloved Community Commemorative Service, Health Fair, Meal at Alliance Commons, Sessions and Discussion Groups 

Tuesday, January 16 - National Day of Racial Healing Unity Walk and Chapel Service

Thursday, January 18 - MLK, Jr. Awards and Dessert Reception


  1. MLK Day of Service

    The Martin Luther King, Jr., National Day of Service is a defining moment each year when Americans across the country step up to make communities more equitable and take action to create the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream. While Dr. King believed the Beloved Community was possible, he acknowledged and fought for systemic change. His example is our call to action. As part of this event, Americorps invites you to serve as a way to engage with your community and create constructive action, act on Dr. King’s legacy of social justice and equity, and recommit by volunteering to serve others. You can clean up a public space, mentor a young person, or help those who are food insecure.

    Check in for the Day of Service will take place in the Peterson Field House of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex at 9 a.m. Service projects will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m./noon (end times will vary by service project and location). 

    Campus Volunteers

    Mount Union will once again do its best to accommodate record numbers of volunteers. Volunteers can participate in person if they are currently enrolled at or employed by the University. Online registration is required and must be submitted by January 12 to be eligible to participate.

    We will offer make-and-take projects, on-campus projects, and some off-campus projects. Volunteers will be able to indicate your preference when registering.

    Participants may register online for the sessions they plan to participate in by using the link below. All sessions are open to the community.

    Register Here

    Alumni and Friends

    We would encourage everyone to find a way to get involved in one of the following ways:

    1. Sign up to volunteer as part of our day of service. All are welcome! 
    2. Learn more about the National Day of Service and volunteer in your community. 
    3. Make a donation to a charity that makes a difference in your community. You can also make donations of clothing, school supplies, or hygiene items to non-profits.
  2. Beloved Community Commemorative Service

    Mount Union and Alliance community members will have the opportunity to view The King Center's 2024 Beloved Community Commemorative Service via live stream. Please join us at one of two locations – the Campus Grounds of the Hoover-Price Campus Center or the classroom at the Alliance Commons – at 10 a.m.

    Learn More About the Service

  3. Health Fair

    A health fair will take place at the Alliance Commons from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  4. Meal at Alliance Commons

    Members of the Alliance community and MLK Day of Service volunteers are invited to join for a free meal at the Alliance Commons from noon until 1:30 p.m.

  5. Sessions and Discussion Groups

    Members of the Campus Community are invited to participate in a number of sessions and discussion groups throughout the day. They include the following:

    • Session on Mental Health, Alliance Commons, 11 a.m.
    • Discussion Group, Alliance Commons, 12:30 p.m.
    • Session on Living the Legacy of MLK and Putting Thoughts Into Action, Alliance Commons, 1:30 p.m.
    • Trip to Canton for Celebratory Program, departing from the Hoover-Price Campus Center, time TBD

    Participants may register online for the sessions they plan to participate in by using the link below. All sessions are open to the community.

    Register Here

  6. National Day of Healing Unity Walk and Chapel Service

    Join for the National Day of Healing Unity Walk and a special chapel service to connect, build relationships, and bridge divides. The event will feature guest speakers and student involvement.

    The National Day of Healing Unity Walk will begin at Chapman Hall at 11:15 a.m. A special chapel service will follow.

  7. MLK Keynote and Awards

    Keynote Address

    The MLK awards will be presented at the University of Mount Union's MLK Jr. Keynote and Award Ceremony. The ceremony and dessert reception will be held on Thursday, January 18, at 11:15 a.m. in Presser Recital Hall in the Cope Music Hall. The keynote address will be given by Bishop Kenneth W. Paramore. 

    Bishop Paramore was born, reared, and educated in Youngstown, Ohio. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron, a master’s degree from Ashland Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary.

    While in Akron, Ohio, he answered the call into ministry that he had received earlier in life. Fellowshipping with the United Baptist Church, he was taught and learned the ministry. He served his first pastorate at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Akron, Ohio. God would later call him back to United Baptist Church, to serve as pastor.

    He later opened the Christian Revival and Discipleship Center, which started as a weekly bible study and would later develop into a church. The center is now relocated to Barberton, Ohio and is known as the Christ Centered Church.

    Bishop Paramore is also the founder of Bradley Bible College. This is an accredited bible college that is named after one of his mentors, Dr. I. T. Bradley. It is currently housed in Youngstown, Barberton, and Mansfield, Ohio.

    In June of 2013, Bishop Paramore began fellowshipping with Kingdom Connection Fellowship International (KCFI). He was consecrated to the office of Bishop in June of 2014. He served his apostolic father Bishop Jerome H. Ross Sr. by training the pastors, ministers, and elders in KCFI. Bishop Paramore was released from his official assignment as the Bishop of the College of Ministers and Elders to initiate a reformation for this present age – LIFTED Reformation of Christian Churches – which he cofounded with several of his ministerial colleagues.

    Bishop Paramore is also a published author. She Cost Too Much is his first book, which was released in September of 2015. Being Single Minded was released in the summer of 2018, and Pandemic Preaching: Preaching The Gospel In Times Of Crisis! was released in 2021.

    Bishop Paramore is married and the father of three children. 



    Each year, the University presents the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Award to members of both the Mount Union community (student, faculty, or staff) and the Alliance community who best embody the values and principles exemplified by Dr. King. Selection for the MLK Award will be based on the nominee’s exemplification of the following: Promoting racial harmony; Advocating for social justice; Collaborating with groups, offices, churches, or organizations; Demonstrating sustained commitment to diversity; Fostering inclusiveness and an appreciation of differences.

    Alpha Phi Alpha Book Prize

    The Alpha Phi Alpha Book Prize was established in 2015 by members of the Iota Phi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. This scholarship was created to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., who was a notable member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and to reward a current student who has carried on his legacy at Mount Union. The selected student receives a $500 scholarship to cover the cost of textbooks in the following semestersThe scholarship is awarded to one student yearly during the Martin Luther King Jr. Award Ceremony 

    Past recipients include: 

    • 2015 - Kimesha Callie Flonnoy 
    • 2016 - Caitlin Shimp 
    • 2017 - Reilly Augustine 
    • 2018 - Brianna Boehlke 
    • 2019 - Ande'Marie Green 
    • 2020 - Francesca Bowman  
    • 2021 - Aaliyah Kinnard