Recognize MLK Jr. at Iowa State, Ames events throughout January

AMES, Iowa — Honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. throughout January at events on the Iowa State University campus and in Ames.

Iowa State’s annual MLK Jr. Legacy Series begins with an ISU campanile carillon concert honoring Dr. King. Carillonneur Tin-Shi Tam will play at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15. Music will include hymns, spirituals, “Oh, Freedom” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

There are no classes and university offices are closed on the holiday, Monday, Jan. 20. However, the annual MLK Jr. community birthday celebration takes place that evening. The annual Ames tradition begins at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at the Ames Middle School auditorium.

Reginald Stewart, ISU vice president for diversity and inclusion, will be the keynote speaker. The Meeker Elementary School chorus and Ames High School step team will perform, and birthday cake will be served.

The MLK Jr. Legacy Series keynote this year will be delivered by Ibram X. Kendi, author of the best-selling books “How to Be an Antiracist” and “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.” The convocation, “How to Be an Antiracist,” will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The Advancing One Community Awards will be awarded prior to Kendi’s lecture.

Kendi is a professor of history and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C., and the founding director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center. He is one of America's foremost historians and leading antiracist voices. 

Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in the United States and points toward new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. He encourages people to consider what an antiracist society might look like, and how to play an active role in building it.

He received his Ph.D. in African American studies from Temple University, and his bachelor’s degree in journalism and African American studies from Florida A&M University.

All events are free and open to the public. The legacy convocation keynote is co-sponsored by Multicultural Student Affairs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Ivy College of Business, College of Design, College of Engineering, College of Human Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, African and African American studies department, history department, University Library, Ames Public Library Friends Foundation, YWCA Ames-ISU and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government.

Find more information about ISU lectures online or by calling 515-294-9934.