CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University will celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a celebration Jan. 9 through Jan. 21. This is the 30th year of the celebration at OSU.
There are dozens of events planned throughout the next two weeks, including the first Spoken Arts Competition, "Speaking Justice: Where do we go from here?" The event will feature students, staff and community members presenting spoken word performances based on the 1967 speech by King of the same name.
It will be followed by a performance by World Poetry Slam champion Joaquin Zihuatanejo and Austin International Poetry Slam champion Natasha Carrizosa. It takes place Jan. 21, 7 to 9 p.m., Memorial Union lounge.
The theme of this year's MLK celebration is "Choose in this Crucial Moment." The events are open to the public and most are free. OSU will cancel classes on Monday, Jan. 16, to allow students, faculty and staff to observe the celebration and join the Peace Breakfast, which starts at 9 a.m. in the Memorial Union ballroom.
OSU's celebration is one of the oldest continuous MLK events in the state. It is organized each year by a group of OSU community members.
Diane Davis, who chairs the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration committee, said this year's planning committee is "an inspiring group of faculty, staff and students, who have created opportunities for our community to participate in an impactful, inclusive, and engaging celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King. "
The breakfast will 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. Keynote speaker Robert Thompson, OSU associate professor of Ethnic Studies and African American Studies, will address the group.
Tickets for the Peace Breakfast 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 Monday, Jan. 9, 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 celebration include a series of service projects and a food drive, a film festival featuring documentaries on nonviolence and race, and a candlelight vigil.
For a full of list of events, see http://oregonstate.edu/oei/martin-luther-king-jr-celebration
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Diane Davis, 541-737-8006