OSU holds 34th annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.


Oregon State University’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration will be held Jan. 11-22 with the theme “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”

This 34-year-old celebration is one of the longest continuous events in the state celebrating the civil rights leader. The events at OSU are open to the public and most are free.

Joseph Orosco, director of Oregon State’s Peace Studies Program, will kick off the celebration with a presentation and workshop on Monday, Jan. 11, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Horizon Room. The presentation is titled “Places of Injustice” and will focus on the question of places at OSU named after historical figures with ties to slavery and racism. Orosco is an associate professor of philosophy in the School of History, Philosophy and Religion, and studies social justice, political philosophy and Latin American philosophy.

That evening, a multi-faith prayer service will be held in the Memorial Union, Room 208, from 5-6 p.m.

A number of lectures, workshops and other events will be held throughout the two-week celebration. A full schedule is available online at http://oregonstate.edu/oei/mlk-events

Some highlights include:

  • Jan. 14, 1-2:30 p.m.: Untold Stories: Histories of Students of Color. A guided tour begins on the Memorial Union steps and follows the histories of students of color who have made positive changes to the OSU campus.
  • Jan. 16, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.: Martin Luther King Jr., Day of Service. The annual day of service offers 8-12 individual service projects.  Registration required. For more information and to register for a project, visit: http://sli.oregonstate.edu/mlk
  • Jan. 19, noon-1:30 p.m.: Making the Unknown Known: Exploring Implicit Bias in Everyday Life, in the Memorial Union, Room 206. This workshop will explore attitudes or stereotypes that influence perceptions, judgements, and behaviors in an unconscious manner.
  • Jan. 21, 7-9 p.m.: Speaking Justice: An annual night of spoken word poetry, in the Memorial Union lounge. The two-part event includes a community performance section that allows 6-8 performers the space to share their voice, and a contracted performance focused on social justice issues such as environmental, gender, racial, and queer justice.

Oregon State’s Peace Breakfast takes place Jan. 18, 8:30-10:30 a.m., in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The keynote speaker will be Jeff Chang, executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. The event also will feature the presentation of the Phyllis S. Lee & Frances Dancy Hooks Coalition Builder Awards.

Tickets will be available at the door, but organizers advise patrons to buy tickets in advance from the Memorial Union Information Desk, as the event regularly sells out. The cost is $10 for general admission and $5 for students; children ages 5-and-under will be admitted free.

These events are organized each year by a group of OSU community members convened by the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Generic OSU

About Oregon State University: OSU is one of only two U.S. universities designated a land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant institution. OSU is also Oregon’s only university to hold both the Carnegie Foundation’s top designation for research institutions and its prestigious Community Engagement classification. Its more than 26,000 students come from all 50 states and more than 90 nations. OSU programs touch every county within Oregon, and its faculty teach and conduct research on issues of national and global importance.