OSU to host annual MLK Jr. celebration

Oregon State University will celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a celebration Jan. 10 through Jan. 20.

Included in the commemoration is a new twist on the popular Peace Breakfast, which this year become the Peace Brunch, featuring keynote speaker Ruth Koenig, a Civil Rights activist who was part of the Freedom Rider movement of the 1960s.

Activities this year are based around the theme, “His Dream. Our Responsibility.” The events are open to the public and most are free. OSU will cancel classes on Monday, Jan. 17, to allow students, faculty and staff to observe the celebration and join the Peace Brunch, which starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Memorial Union ballroom.

OSU’s celebration is one of the oldest continuous MLK events in the state.

The brunch will also feature presentation of the Phyllis S. Lee & Frances Dancy Hooks Coalition Builder Awards (among other honors) and a performance by Outspoken, an OSU men’s a cappella group.

Koenig, who now lives in Eugene, was spurred by the bombing of a church in Birmingham in 1963 to join the Mississippi Summer Project a year later. Also known as the Freedom Summer, it was an attempt to register historically under-represented black voters in Mississippi.

Tickets for the Peace Brunch will be available at the door, but organizers advise patrons to buy tickets in advance from the MU business office, as the event regularly sells out. Tickets, which go on sale starting Wednesday, Jan. 5, are $10 for general admission and $6 for students; children ages 5-and-under will be admitted free. Call 541-737-4381 for more information.

Other highlights of this year’s King celebration include a talk on Jan. 13 by Shelley Moon on institutional racism. It takes place at 7 p.m. at Corvallis Majestic Theater. Koenig will also give a public talk on Jan.18, “The Shared Vision: Working for Civil Rights in Our Time,” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom. She will share her experiences from the past, and the program also will provide an opportunity to start conversations of how to continue gaining civil rights for all marginalized communities on campus, in our community, and in the larger society.

For a full of list of events, see: http://people.oregonstate.edu/~thiesr/MLKevents.html

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