CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University's annual Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration will be held Jan. 12-23 with the theme "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Change." 

OSU's 33-year-old celebration is one of the oldest continuous events in the state celebrating the civil rights leader. The events are open to the public and most are free.

Kevin Rome, president of Lincoln University of Missouri, will begin with a presentation on Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. in the MU Horizon Room. Lincoln University was founded in 1866 by African-American Civil War veterans to educate newly freed slaves, and now has a student body that's about 40 percent black. Following his talk, there will be a panel discussion from 3-4:30 p.m. on social justice titled "Creating Change Panel of Speakers."

A number of lectures, workshops and other events will be held throughout the two-week celebration. A full schedule is available online at  as well as

  • On Jan. 15, 7-9 p.m., internationally recognized poetry duo Sister Outsider will headline a spoken word event called "Speaking Justice" in the Memorial Union Lounge.
  • On Jan. 16, 6-7 p.m., students will be provided with a safe space at Snell International Forum to discuss experiences of racism, discrimination and prejudice in an open mic format.
  • On Jan. 19, 5:30 p.m. screening of "Selma" at Carmike Cinemas, followed by a discussion at 8:30 p.m. of the film's relevance in the MU Horizon Room (attendees don't have to screen the film at that time to participate in the discussion).
  • On Jan. 21, 7:30-9 p.m., a musical and spoken-word event will be held at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, called "Rage, Rage Against the Dying."

The annual Peace Breakfast on Jan. 19 at 9 a.m. will feature presentation of the Phyllis S. Lee & Frances Dancy Hooks Coalition Builder Awards. Darleen Ortega, judge with the Oregon Court of Appeals, is keynote speaker.

Tickets will be available at the door, but organizers advise patrons to buy tickets in advance from the MU Information Desk, as the event regularly sells out. The cost is $10 for general admission and $6 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.

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Kerstin Colon, 541-737-6368 or