Waukesha County Technical College’s Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) will host their annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Program today, Tuesday, Jan. 19. Writer, poet, and scholar Clint Smith III will deliver the keynote speech.
“This is one of our first ones that came (from) outside of the state,” Multicultural Resource Center Coordinator Rolando De León said.
Smith authored the book Counting Descent, a poetry collection that won Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. He is also a regular contributor to the Pod Save the People podcast.
Smith joins WCTC for their first-ever virtual celebration of Dr. King’s legacy. The event will include remarks from WCTC staff and a performance from Waukesha West High School’s Master Choir.
“Over the years, our MLK program has been our biggest program,” De León said.
At WCTC, the MRC offers students, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups, a safe place to call their own. The center often promotes cross-cultural communication, awareness, and understanding through programs, events, and leadership development.
“We’re always raising the bar. Last year, we had Muhibb Dyer as our keynote,” De León said.
Dyer, the co-founder of Flood the Hood with Dreams, uses the art of spoken word to encourage inner city youth to take control of their own future. On Feb. 18, the MRC will host a conversation with Newark, NJ-based minister/ activist Nyle Fort and George Floyd’s family.
The MRC often plans programming for almost every month of the year, however, the COVID-19 presented a few challenges. Unfortunately, speakers cancelled their in-person visits due to the spread of the coronavirus, however, platforms like Zoom opened new possibilities for programming.
“I think one of the biggest challenges was how do we figure out the cost,” De León said.
Today’s event will also feature a Q&A and “call to action.” The Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Program with Keynote Speaker Clint Smith is open to WCTC Students, Staff, and community members. The event will begin at 11:30am on Zoom: https://wctc.zoom.us/j/93155253341.
“We tried to make a really educational and informative event,” De León said.