BW and Berea Unite for 25th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Week

December 15, 2014

Against a backdrop of renewed national dialogue around race, justice and reconciliation, BW and the city of Berea are preparing to continue a tradition that is now a quarter of a century in the making, staging the 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Week under the banner of “One Flame, One Voice, One Dream.”

This is the 25th year that BW, the Berea City Schools, Cuyahoga County Public Library, local churches and civic groups have come together to produce and participate in the award-winning tribute to the goals, ideals and dreams of Dr. King. This silver anniversary observance of MLK Week will bring home inspiring author and Cleveland native Charlise Lyles for a keynote address, and include a solemn candlelight march down the center of Berea’s Bagley Rd.

Activities Designed to Involve, Teach and Inspire All Ages

The 2015 celebration kicks off with a gospel music Songfest on Sunday, January 18 and concludes with an interactive “Your Feet, My Shoes” display on Friday, January 23. A community prayer breakfast, Creative Expressions student video presentation and MLK Day of Learning are also among the activities designed to encourage every age group to get involved.

Journalist, author and poet, Charlise Lyles will deliver the keynote address, on January 22. In her acclaimed memoir, "Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? From the Projects to Prep School," Lyles describes her journey growing up in Cleveland public housing in the late 1960s and early 1970s and finishing high school on a scholarship to the Hawken School in Gates Mills. 

The complete schedule of MLK Week events is as follows (events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted):

Songfest 2015

Sunday, January 18, 4 p.m.
United Methodist Church of Berea, 170 Seminary St., Berea
A gospel music celebration featuring BW’s Voices of Praise, Berea-Midpark High School Choir and other performing artists.

Annual Prayer Breakfast

Monday, January 19, 9 a.m.
Mt Zion Baptist Church (formerly First Baptist Church), 572 Pearl St., Berea
A reflective celebration featuring music, readings, an inspirational talk by Minister Bruce Murphy and a delicious breakfast.

Candlelight March

Tuesday, January 20, 6:30 p.m.
Berea-Midpark High School, 165 East Bagley Rd., Berea
The MLK Candlelight March will begin at the Berea-Midpark High School and move westward on Bagley Road ending at BW’s Center for Innovation & Growth (CIG) at 340 Front St. Refreshments will be served with a brief reflection after the march.

Creative Expressions – Video Presentation

Wednesday, January 21, 7 p.m.
Cuyahoga County Public Library, Berea Branch, 7 Berea Commons, Berea
A reception showcasing short videos created by students ages 13-18 that celebrate the ideals and legacy of Dr. King. Refreshments provided courtesy of the Friends of the Berea Branch Library.

MLK Day of Learning

Thursday, January 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
BW and Berea-Midpark High School students host educational and interactive activities based on Dr. King's legacy and the Civil Rights Movement. Visiting fourth grade students gain an understanding of his vision. Not open to the public.

Chapel Worship Service

Thursday, January 22, 12:15 p.m.
Lindsay-Crossman Chapel, 56 Seminary St., Berea
All are welcome to worship at this service to honor the memory of Dr. King.

Keynote Speaker: Charlise Lyles

Thursday, January 22, 8 p.m.
Kleist Center for Art & Drama, 95 East Bagley Road, Berea
Cleveland native, journalist and poet, Charlise Lyles is a voice of inspiration for what it means to overcome childhood adversity. Her book "Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? From the Projects to Prep School” is a highly acclaimed memoir that touches on issues of sexism, racism and educational inequality. Part of “Enduring Questions: The Mark Collier Lecture Series.”

"Your Feet: My Shoes"

Friday, January 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Strosacker Hall- Student Union, 120 E. Grand St., Berea
People of Color United hosts an interactive maze displaying common and current issues and "isms" we face in today's society, stimulating greater awareness and understanding.

MLK and Peace at a Time of War

Regular Library Hours
BW Ritter Library, 57 E. Bagley Rd., Berea
Part of an ongoing series of displays that shows the U.S. involvement in war from a variety of angles. In January, the library will celebrate MLK and his contributions to peace at a time of extraordinary conflict in America and on foreign shores.

For more information about any of these ML King Week activities or events, call 440-826-2325 or 440-826-2157. For general directions Baldwin Wallace University, visit