Despite the freezing rain and wintry conditions, over a hundred students, faculty, and community members gathered on MLK Day at the University of Michigan's Diag for the 11th Annual Circle of Unity Celebration, presented by the Michigan Community Scholars Program. To honor the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the event participants celebrated through music, dance, and spoken word. The messages of racial justice, nonviolence, and unity that Dr. King carried throughout the Civil Rights Movement were echoed at the event, with assurance that the fight for social justice continues. 

Headlining the event for several years now, music duo Joe Reilly and Julie Beutel led the crowd with traditional folk music and dance. The Michigan Gospel Chorale and Smile Bringer Singers groups (the latter originated out of MCSP) provided beautiful renditions of classic songs to uplift the participants. Students Nyah Pierson and Nia Willis offered spoken word through poetry. All in all, the event was a success: it was well enjoyed by the participants, and provided an outlook of unity and hope despite turbulent political changes and disruptions to social equality. MCSP was honored to present this event as part of the University of Michigan's Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium, one of the largest MLK celebrations in the nation. In addition to all the event participants and performers, MCSP would also like to thank the numerous co-sponsors of the event, from academic programs to other learning communities. Hope to see you at Circle of Unity in 2018! 

The Circle of Unity Celebration gained news coverage on- and off-campus. Here are some links to various articles about MCSP's MLK Day event, with many, many pictures!

"Community members and U-M students gather in unity on MLK Day" - MLive Ann Arbor News

"Circle of Unity participants sing and dance to remember Martin Luther King Jr." - The Michigan Daily

"Photos from MLK Day" - The University Record