Northwest Missouri State University will honor martyred civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events next week, including a 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, peace march that will begin on campus and continue to the Nodaway County Courthouse.
Monday is the observed federal holiday marking King's birth. The Nobel Prize-winning activist and clergyman was born Jan. 15, 1929, but his birthday has been officially celebrated on the third Monday of January since 1986.
"At Northwest, Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week is not only meant to remember Dr. King and his mission for civil rights, but also to remind us that it is up to each of us to continue to bring justice, equality, peace and unity to our world," said Steve Bryant, the university's director of intercultural affairs.
Monday events on campus also include an 11 a.m. "peace brunch" in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom. The meal will coincide with a panel discussion on racism in America. Individuals interested in attending the free event should email Bryant at email@example.com by Friday.
For the march itself, participants are being encouraged to make and carry signs lettered with messages promoting peace, justice, civil rights and equality. A short presentation will take place at the courthouse at the march's conclusion.
Other King-related events scheduled for next week include a unity celebration at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.
Members of the Northwest and Maryville communities are invited to read poetry, sing songs and perform dances that are artistically representative of King's legacy.
Individuals or groups interested in performing should contact Northwest's Intercultural International Center by 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17. Call (660) 562.1367 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister who helped lead the American civil rights movement during the 1950s and '60s. He is remembered for organizing the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott and helping found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, which dramatically raised public consciousness about civil rights and established King as a world figure. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.
For more information about MLK Week at Northwest, call Steve Bryant at (660) 562-1517 or email email@example.com.