Civil Rights Activist, 1961 Freedom Rider Guest of Honor at Anderson University Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

Cladys P. Harrison, a civil rights activist and 1961 Freedom Rider, is the guest of honor at a worship service kicking off Anderson University's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Anderson University will celebrate diversity and community with a series of events on Monday, Jan. 21.

A worship service begins the celebration 10 a.m. in Daniel Recital Hall; Anderson County resident Cladys P. Harrison, a civil rights activist and 1961 Freedom Rider, is the guest of honor with a keynote address by Rev. James C. Clark, pastor of Wilson Calvary Baptist Church in Anderson.


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During the afternoon, AU students are organizing service projects in which members of the campus community are volunteering at local non-profits and churches including AIM, The LOT Project, the Rocky River Conservancy, Safe Harbor and South Main Chapel and Mercy Center. The projects are designed to bring students together and to connect with the wider Anderson County community.

The Anderson University Connect Club is sponsoring two events: a film screening of “Loving,” a poignant portrayal of interracial relationships, beginning at 6 p.m. in the G. Ross Anderson Jr. Student Center Theater; and a “Dessert and Discussion” where students, along with faculty and staff, will engage with each other about issues of racial justice while reflecting on Dr. King’s legacy.

“The greatest commandment is to love God with all of your heart, soul and mind, and then to love your neighbor as you love yourself. By us having these events and by us coming together, we will show the love we have one for another,” said Dr. James Noble, Interim Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. “I believe that Gospel-centered racial reconciliation is God’s plan, and the more we focus on that, the better our university will be.”