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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Jan. 16, 2009

MLK events honor the man and his vision

by Paula Van Brocklin

The Iowa State community will commemorate the life of civil rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King Jr. with multiple January events, which are free and open to the public. King was assassinated April 4, 1968.


A celebration of King's life and legacy is Jan. 22 (4 p.m., Memorial Union Great Hall) and features several speakers, including Mary Sawyer, professor of religious studies; Tunde Adeleke, professor of history and director of the African and American Studies program; Courtney Thomas, president of the Black Student Alliance; and Daniel Fischer, president of the Government of the Student Body. A performance by Delta Sigma Theta Choir and birthday cake are part of the festivities.

One Community Awards

Executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman also will present the Advancing One Community Awards. The awards, which recognize recipients for their commitment to an inclusive multicultural community and efforts to reduce injustice and inequity, are given annually to a group, faculty or staff member and a student.

This year's recipients are:

  • Black Graduate Student Association
  • Mary De Baca, director of diversity, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Alissa Stoehr, graduate assistant, interdisciplinary graduate studies

Keynote speaker

Manning Marable

Manning Marable, professor of public affairs, political science, history and African-American studies at Columbia University, New York City, will present the Martin Luther King Jr. keynote address Jan. 27 (8 p.m., Memorial Union Sun Room).

Marable founded Columbia's Institute for Research in African-American Studies, one of the nation's most prestigious centers dedicated to the black American experience. He also established the university's Center for Contemporary Black History, an advanced research and publications center that examines black leadership, policies, culture and society.

Sawyer said Marable is one of the most respected political scientists in the country.

"His constructive criticism clarifies our responsibilities as citizens, and inspires people of all ages to continue working toward the kind of society Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned," she said.

Panel discussion

Individuals from across campus will discuss diversity in the classroom, workplace and community during a panel discussion, "A Campus Conversation on Diversity," Jan. 29 (noon, Memorial Union Pioneer Room). Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend and participate in the discussion. Barbara Woods, extension specialist in family and consumer sciences, will moderate the event.

These campus events not only honor King, but his values and his vision, Sawyer said. "Observing the King holiday on the ISU campus provides an opportunity for us to revisit King's goals, and to rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of peace and social justice," she said.


"Observing the King holiday on the ISU campus provides an opportunity for us to revisit King's goals, and to rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of peace and social justice."

-- Mary Sawyer