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Jan. 12, 2007

King celebration spans three weeks

by Erin Rosacker

Iowa State joins the nation in honoring civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was assassinated on April 4, 1968. A series of events over the next three weeks will pay tribute to King. The celebration began with a carillon concert on central campus Jan. 10 and concludes with a lecture Feb. 1.

Iowa State and the Ames community will celebrate King's actual birth date (Jan. 15, 1929) with music, stories and cake in the Ames High School cafeteria.

Jan. 18 marks the first of three campus events. The celebration, which begins at 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room, features musical groups, speakers and birthday cake. President Gregory Geoffroy will present ISU's Advancing One Community Award, which recognizes recipients for commitment to an inclusive multicultural community and efforts to reduce injustice and inequity. The award is presented in three categories (student, faculty/staff, group). The 2007 winners, respectively, are:

  • Graduate student Vijay Kanagala (educational leadership and policy studies), who serves as president of the Indian Students Association and co-chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus.
  • George Jackson, assistant dean of the Graduate College and professor of educational leadership and policy studies.
  • Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Ally Alliance.

A panel discussion titled "Forty Years of Black Politics" will be held Jan. 30. Participants include Mary Sawyer, professor of religious studies and co-founder of the African American Studies program; Mary Ann Spicer, president of Des Moines' Sisters on Target; and Rep. Wayne Ford of Des Moines, co-founder of the Brown and Black Presidential Forum. Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, will moderate.

Jonathan Farley's lecture, "Forty Years in the Wilderness: Martin Luther King and the Misdirection of the Negro," will wrap up the festivities Feb. 1. Chair of the mathematics and computer science department at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Farley's expertise lies in the application of math in counter-terrorism and homeland security.

MLK Events

Jan. 15-Feb. 1

MU Sun Room (unless noted)

Monday, January 15

  • 7 p.m., Celebration, a community-wide party celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., free, Ames High School cafeteria, 4-9935.

Thursday, January 18

  • 4 p.m., Celebration, program includes musical performances, speakers and presentation of ISU's Advancing One Community Awards, free, 4-9934.

Tuesday, January 30

  • 7 p.m., Panel discussion, "Forty Years of Black Politics," Mary Sawyer, ISU religious studies; Mary Ann Spicer, Sisters on Target, Des Moines; Rep. Wayne Ford, Brown and Black Presidential Forum; moderator Dianne Bystrom, ISU Catt Center, free, 4-6519.

Thursday, February 1

  • 8 p.m., Lecture, "Forty Years in the Wilderness: Martin Luther King and the Misdirection of the Negro," Jonathan Farley, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, free, 4-9934.


Iowa State celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. in a three-week celebration that starts Jan.10.