Iowa State University to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University will join the nation in honoring Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner who was assassinated on April 4, 1968. The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration 2009 will pay tribute to King with a series of events between Jan. 14 and Jan. 29. All events are free and open to the public.

The celebration will begin at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14 on central campus with a carillon concert, "Let Freedom Ring," performed by Tin-Shi Tam, carilloneur.

Continuing a long-time Ames tradition, university will join the Ames community for a community birthday festivity at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19 at the Ames Middle School, 3915 Mortensen Road. The celebration will include music, stories and birthday cake.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, ISU will host the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Musical performances and speakers will commemorate the life and legacy of King. Speakers include Mary Sawyer, professor of religious studies; Daniel Fischer, president of the Government of the Student Body; Tunde Adeleke, history professor and director of the African and African American studies program; and Courtney Thomas, president of the Black Student Alliance. ISU Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Hoffman will present the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Advancing One Community Awards. The awards, which recognize recipients for commitment to an inclusive multicultural community and efforts to reduce injustice and inequity, are presented in three categories--student, faculty/staff and group. Birthday cake will be served.

Manning Marable, a Columbia University professor, black history scholar and human rights activist, will present the celebration keynote speech, "Diversity and Democracy in America," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Marable is professor of public affairs, political science and history at Columbia, and the founding director of the Center for Contemporary Back History and the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, one of the nation's most highly regarded centers of scholarship on the black American experience. He is the author and/or editor of 21 books and scholarly anthologies on black politics, and the role of race and class in history.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration will conclude with "A Campus Conversation on Diversity" at noon Thursday, Jan. 29, in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room. Students, faculty and staff will discuss diversity on Iowa State's campus. Panelists will discuss their experiences in the classroom, workplace and the community. The panel will be moderated by Barbara Woods, an extension specialist in family and consumer sciences, who was instrumental in organizing "Community Conversations on Diversity," which brought together diverse individuals to discuss their sense of belonging in Ames.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration is sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration planning committee; the African and African American studies program; the Black Student Alliance; Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics; the Center for American Intercultural Studies; the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Engineering, Human Sciences, and Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Committee on Lectures (funded by the Government of the Student Body); the dean of students office; Margaret Sloss Women's Center; multicultural student affairs; the music department; the office of the president; the office of the provost; the religious studies program; Student Union Board; Ames Community Schools; Ames Human Relations Commission; Boys and Girls Club of Ames; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.; United Way of Story County; YWCA Ames-ISU; and Youth and Shelter Services.