The week of January 21st, Alfred State’s Liz Raterman and Jonathan Hilsher collaborated on “dream week”: a week to acknowledge Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream, life, and legacy. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s voice was a voice for change and non-violence. Director of Multicultural Affairs, Liz Raterman, described the week as “an opportunity for us to remember that things have changed drastically.”
The week started with a “dream cloud” table set up outside of the Terrace dining hall. Students were encouraged to stop at the table and write their dream for our nation on a cloud. These clouds then decorated various venues around the campus. As many as 250 individuals were said to have participated at the event. Among the dream clouds, there were informational packets about Martin Luther King, Jr. and a petition backed by UJIMA (formerly Black Student Union) and the Student Senate. The petition pressed for the formal recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. day as a school holiday. Currently, Alfred State is the only SUNY campus to deny the holiday a school holiday, and therefore continue with classes on January 21st.
On Wednesday, January 23rd, the 3rd annual dream gallery was held at Alfred University’s Knight Club. This free event show cased the artwork of Alfred Almond’s 3rd grade class. In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s infamous dream, each student created a black silhouette of their face with their own accompanying dream written on it. The event also had a portion where you could create your own “dream candy bar” made with real ingredients. Also on Wednesday, the film Boycott was shown at Alfred State in the E.J. Brown building. The film was an “educational but entertaining” portrayal of the 1950s civil rights movement to boycott Montgomery buses. This film was made possible to view by the Kaleidoscope Coalition and Ujima (formerly Black Student Union).
Thursday, January 24th, the Celebration of Service Recognition Ceremony was held at the Village of Alfred Courthouse. This event recognized the nominees and recipients of the Spirit of Service award. This award was given to those who actively embody the principles that Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for: equality, social justice, community, and service. The recipients from Alfred State were Sandy Dennison (of ACES) and Pheonix T. Garden. Two students from Alfred University and one community member also received the award. There were 16 nominees in total.
Ending the dream week was the Day of Service. On Saturday, January 26th, more than 80 volunteers were split among 12 volunteer sites and 15 service projects in order to give back to their community. The service projects ranged from reading books at the Box of Books library to playing board games with members of the Allegany County ARC. The day proved to be a great end to a week dedicated to service and community.