2023 MLK Unity Breakfast

The 2023 MLK Unity Breakfast, hosted by the UWT Black Student Union, will be held on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023.

After a short hiatus due to COVID-19 precautions, the UWT Black Student Union is welcoming back the annual MLK Unity Breakfast. The event will take place on Monday, Jan. 16, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the University YMCA.

“This event is to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his birthday and to bring unity to the community in general. It is an opportunity for collaboration between the Tacoma community and UWT student community,” UWT Black Student Union President, Jasmine Davis, said.

Davis explains one of the goals of the UWT Black Student Union is to create a sense of community on campus for students of color to feel comfortable. She highlights the UWT Black Student Union’s focus on the importance of civic connection and how, over the years, this focus has influenced many of the events the club has hosted.  

In 2007, the UWT Black Student Union began the MLK Unity Breakfast as an opportunity to bring the UWT community together with members of the city in an effort to highlight the vibrance and distinction of Tacoma. Davis says this event has become an important component in creating a holistic connection between city and campus groups. 

A foundational part of the historic breakfast is recognizing community members who hold active roles in helping their communities thrive. This is done through appointment of the UWT Dream Awards. The UWT Dream Award honors community members who have dedicated their time, talent, expertise and care to strengthening their communities through service work and civic organizing. Recipients are nominated by community members and recognized by UWT as pivotal members of the community who work to advance civil rights, social justice and community-centered services.

In addition to the Dream Awards, UWT BSU Vice President, Christian James, said, “The event will include a full breakfast and various performances, alumni speakers, and a keynote speaker. Chancellor Lange will be in attendance, as well as possible attendance by government officials and the Mayor of Tacoma.” 

The 2023 keynote speaker is author, speaker and mentorship advocate, Dr. John “Push” Gaines. Sharing his experiences as a former at-risk youth, navigating the difficulties of growing up surrounded by drugs and violence, Dr. Gaines shares a message of resilience and the importance of pushing through adversity to find your purpose.  

The MLK Unity Breakfast is open to all. Attendees are encouraged to pre-register, as space is limited to 275 tickets. Table sponsorship options are also available. Tickets for the event are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and children 10 years and younger. Ticket pricing includes admittance to the event and breakfast. Vegetarian breakfast options will be available.

Currently, the UWT Black Student Union is looking for event volunteers who are available to help setup, sustain and tear down the event space.  All UWT Black Student Union event volunteers will receive free admission to the event and a complimentary breakfast. 

 “[The UWT Black Student Union] has many thanks to give to the different offices we are in collaboration with for this event,” James said.

Those offices include the BSU Alumni Association, Center for Equity and Inclusion, Center for Student Involvement, Office of Community Partnerships, Office of Global Advancement and the Office of Student Affairs.

In addition to the MLK Unity Breakfast, the UWT Black Student Union is currently hosting a fundraiser for the Innocence Project, which provides support to wrongly incarcerated individuals and/or individuals who are incarcerated and have under-funded access to legal representation. 

The UWT Black Student Union has a full calendar of events and volunteer opportunities available throughout 2023.  If you are interested in supporting or joining the UWT Black Student Union, President Davis recommends joining the club’s Discord and Instagram pages, which can be found in the club’s link tree at https://linktr.ee/uwtbsu.For more information, or to register for this event, please visit the MLK Unity Breakfast webpage at https://events.uw.edu/mlk23 or email the event coordinators at mlkuwt@uw.edu.

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