CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The State College Borough’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee is honoring the activist with a ‘Local Legacy Search.’

Individuals and teams up to four people are invited to follow clues leading to seven historic landmarks in Downtown State College and on Penn State University Park’s campus.

“We are working to find ways to incorporate the broad community in finding aspects of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and experiences that tapped here in this State College community, as well as others in the community who have been living out the legacy in their work,” said AnneMarie Mingo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. committee member.

Snap a selfie at each stop!

“We’re hoping that as you’re going from place to place, that you’ll have conversation with each other, thinking about, ‘What does this mean for us today and what role can I play in making not only my State College community, but my world, a better place to live?’,” said Mingo.

After collecting your photos, visit the MLK Jr. Committee from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 22 at the Downtown State College Improvement District office (27 S Fraser St, State College, PA 16801) and submit your pictures.

Prizes are up for grabs:

  • First Prize: $100 Downtown State College Improvement District Gift Card (all 4 members of a group are eligible to receive the $100 gift card) & a complimentary ticket to the national encore screening of the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD production of Fire Shut Up in My Bones, scheduled for Saturday, February 26, 2022, at The State Theatre.
  • Second Prize: $50 Downtown State College Improvement District Gift Card (all 4 members of a group are eligible to receive the $50 gift card)
  • Third Prize: $25 Downtown State College Improvement District Gift Card (all 4 members of a group are eligible to receive the $25 gift)

Plus, all participants will receive a buy-one-get-one voucher for a movie at The State Theatre.

“There are many things that I’m hoping people learn along the way, that they don’t just rush to the site to take a picture, but that they actually read the materials that are there at many of the sites,” said Mingo.

Want to join in? Here are the clues:

  • During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. visited our area and held the attention of all who gathered to see and hear him. He left his mark in their hearts and minds. Capture a picture with the physical mark which honors King’s local visit.
  • Penn State is one of two homes to world-renowned collections of African American culture in Pennsylvania that bear the same name as the collector. Find an item of interest within the physical collection and take a picture.
  • Creating access to education and impactful leadership is an important aspect of extending the work of Dr. King and others. The first Black woman Assistant Vice President at Penn State in 1972 and the first Black principal in the State College Area School District hired in 1997 have definitely made their mark on the Penn State campus and within State College. Capture a picture with these two inspirational figures where they are featured with others yet stand out among the crowd.
  • Someone always has to take the first step to break barriers and increase opportunities for expanded ways of teaching, learning, and growing. This person broke a barrier in 1956, becoming the first Black full-time faculty member hired at Penn State and paved the way for others to follow. Take a picture of the marker in the location that commemorates this faculty member.
  • Six steps for non-violent social change stand tall in downtown State College. Read through them and capture a picture with the one that means the most to you in the current moment. 
  • Penn State prevented Black male students from living in Penn State campus housing from 1930 to 1946. Not far from campus, another “hall” with presidential nomenclature offered a safe place of residence for many who sought an education at Penn State, including football player Wally Triplett. Capture a picture at the residence that marks history and inspires us to create a more inclusive future.
  • The Borough of State College has elected only one African American to public office, which happened very recently. Take a picture in front of the building where that person works.