AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University and the Ames community will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this month with a lecture, a musical tribute from the Campanile’s carillon and an event featuring a relative of Jack Trice.
The city of Ames is joining the Ames/Story County MLK Celebration Committee in honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a hybrid celebration beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15, at Ames City Auditorium, 520 Sixth St. (north side of City Hall). The event will also be available virtually via Facebook Live or live on YouTube. Cookies will be available in the city gymnasium at 6 p.m. prior to the beginning of the program.
The keynote speaker for the event will be George W. Trice. An Ohio native, Trice spent 10 years in Iowa and holds master’s degrees from both Iowa State University and Grand Canyon University in Arizona. Trice is a founder of the Trice Legacy Foundation, an organization that awards scholarships and grants to students. Through the foundation, he strives to continue the legacy of his cousin, John “Jack” Trice.
Jack Trice was the first African American football player at Iowa State College. Jack Trice died after injuries suffered during a football game in 1923. Iowa State University named its football stadium after Jack Trice in 1987, and in 2023 the university held a yearlong commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Jack Trice’s death. George Trice will speak about “The Path,” a journey to do great things to keep the dream and legacy of Dr. King alive.
There are no classes, and most university offices are closed on Monday, Jan. 15, to mark the holiday. The Workspace in the ISU Memorial Union will host creative activities on Monday, Jan. 15, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. including yarn art and MLK coloring pages. Participants can receive a Martin Luther King Jr. Day button. The event is free and all ages are welcome.
An ISU Campanile carillon concert, titled “Let Freedom Ring,” will honor King on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 11:50 a.m. Carillonneur Tin-Shi Tam will play hymns, spirituals and music inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.
Iowa State’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture takes place on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The event, titled “Reimagining a New American Democracy,” will feature civil rights lawyer and scholar Sherrilyn Ifill. Karen Kedrowski, director of ISU’s Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and professor of political science, will moderate a conversation with Ifill on civil rights, race and the challenges facing American Democracy.
Ifill served as president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. She is currently a Distinguished Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School, and she serves as Ford Foundation Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art , leading a project focused on exploring the values of the 14th Amendment in artistic expression. Ifill was most recently appointed to be the inaugural Vernon Jordan Endowed Chair in Civil Rights at Howard Law School, where she will launch the 14th Amendment Center for Law and Democracy.
The lecture is free and open to the public. It also will be recorded and available on the ISU Lectures website within 36-48 hours after the lecture has finished.
Recipients of the 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Advancing One Community Awards will be honored at the lecture. The awards recognize ISU students, employees and campus organizations that foster inclusive environments at Iowa State. This year’s recipients are Brady Hubbard, Larch Hall director for the ISU Department of Residence, and Amy Popillion, teaching professor of human development and family studies.