April 4 from 3:45 to 4:15 p.m., UW Tacoma students, faculty and the greater Tacoma area community members are invited to participate in the 50th Anniversary Bell Toll service in memoriam of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The ceremony held at UWT is coordinated by the Office of Equity and Inclusion in partnership with the chancellor’s office. This event will commemorate the legacy of King in conjunction with other participating groups around the world. Attendees should congregate at the flagpole on the Prairie Line trail on the date of the anniversary.
The heart of this movement is in Memphis, Tennessee, where the National Civil Rights Museum will chime a bell 39 times in King’s honor. The 39 bell tolls symbolize the 39 years King was alive. The bell will begin its tolls at the museum at precisely 6:03 p.m., then nationally at 6:05 p.m. and internationally at 6:07 p.m. The time difference is to signify that the news of King’s death rippled through the country.
Chancellor Mark Pagano will speak prior to the ringing of the bell on how King’s messages are still relevant today.
“Dr. King’s messages are timeless,” Pagano said. “They were certainly relevant during the time of social change in the late 1960s and may be even more relevant for our society today. There will always be conflicts in our societies, but Dr. King urges us to work to resolve them peacefully without any violence or hostility towards one another. This message is definitely consistent with our values at UW Tacoma.”
UWT has numerous scholars who have spent their career trying to understand and study King’s time period. Michael Honey is one of those scholars — a founding faculty member of UWT and a scholar of Martin Luther King Jr. and labor and civil rights history.
“Our campus has long been committed to equal rights for all, and King is one of the best proponents of equality in our history,” Honey said. “I will be in Memphis and Atlanta that week to march and speak and remember King.”
UWT Professor Michael Honey is publishing a book on King, “To the
Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice,”
that will be presented at UWT
May 1 in William
Phillip Hall at 5 p.m.