Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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Shirley Weber welcomes attendees to the annual Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon. Shirley Weber welcomes attendees to the annual Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon.

Celebrating King's Legacy Four Decades Later

"Still work to be done" was the unofficial theme of the annual luncheon honoring the slain Civil Rights leader.
By Lorena Nava Ruggero

Despite the 40-plus years since the death of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., “There is still work to be done,” said Africana Studies professor Shirley Weber during last week’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon.

“Don’t let the economy excuse our work,” Weber said. “There’s much more that needs to be done.”

The annual event, organized by Weber and others across the campus, has a two-decade history at SDSU.

“I’m very proud of the fact that people have attended for 20-odd years,” Weber said. “We’re still clearly a popular event. People still find the message important.”

In testament to Weber's statement, hundreds of attendees from across campus, including students, faculty and staff, dined on a variety of soul food offerings.

Unsung Hero Award

To recognize those who work to realize King’s dream, the Unsung Hero Award is given during the luncheon to a deserving individual connected to the university. This year’s honoree was Sandra Bullock, staff member in the Center for Human Resources and an alumna of the Department of African Studies.

Unfortunately, Bullock was ill that day and Elvira McCalip, director, read a statement on her behalf.

“What an honor to receive an award for doing something that just comes natural: faithfully serving the SDSU community, a community that I take great pride in, a community that I remain forever dedicated.”

Diverse talents

While the event honors the legacy of King, it also showcases the talents of students and faculty members, including spoken word delivered by Africana studies professor Delores Fisher and a dance tribute performed and choreographed by student Londya England.

The luncheon opens and closes with singing—at event’s start, attendees sang the Black National Anthem; the event ended with guests holding hands and singing “We Shall Overcome.”


The MLK Jr. Luncheon is sponsored by:

  • The College of Arts and Letters
  • Intercultural Relations/Cross-Cultural Center
  • The Office of the President
  • Office of Diversity
  • CSU Employees Union
  • USE Credit Union
  • US Bank
  • Professional Studies and Fine Arts
  • CFA Local Chapter
  • Department of Psychology
  • Associated Students