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“Living the dream”: Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Kicks Off Monday

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From Monday, January 20 – Friday, January 25 students, faculty, staff and community members in Athens will have the chance to honor the leader of the civil right movement. Ohio University's 2014 MLK committee offers a couple of events to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Junior.

The celebration kicks off on Monday at 10 a.m. with the 14th annual Silent March starting in front of Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium's West Portico. This year's keynote speaker Fredrick Harris, a professor from Columbia University, will then talk at the already sold-out MLK Jr. brunch. 

From Tuesday to Saturday events include a documentary viewing and discussion relating to civil rights, an interactive workshop analyzing MLK Jr.'s speech "Where Do We Go From Here" and an open mic night focussing on social justice issues.

Ebony Porter, member of the 2014 MLK committee, said it is important to remember Martin Luther King's legacy since it is still impacting people's live today. She said that people should not forget about him since they can still learn from him.

"Take some of his techniques that he used back then and try to learn how to use them now. Whenever you want to organize something against or for, how were these techniques affective then and what can be used then and how can they apply for today," she explained.

To show what the Ohio University campus was like during the time when MLK Jr. was assassinated, how students of color were viewed and who visited OU during that time, the committee will display photos, articles and recordings at Baker Center throughout the week.   

The week-long celebration ends on Saturday, January 25 with a Day of Service – an opportunity for campus and community participants to volunteer in different projects throughout Athens County.

MLK Jr. celebration week:

Monday, January 20: 14th annual MLK Jr. Silent March at 10 a.m. in front of Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium's West Portico, Celebratory Brunch at 11 a.m. at Baker Center's Ballroom and MLK Jr Historical Display at Baker Center Third Floor Atrium

Tuesday, January 21: Gideon's Army Film Documentary Viewing and Discussion at 7 p.m. at the Athena Cinema

Wednesday, January 22: MLK Jr. Interactive Workshop at 6 p.m. at Walter Hall Rotunda

Thursday, January 23: Social-Justice Themed Open Mic Night at 6 p.m. at Casa Nueva and at 8 p.m. at Donkey Coffee and Espresso Café

Friday, January 24: Interactive Workshop "It Takes a Village" all day at East Elementary School

Saturday, January 25: MLK Jr. Day of Service (Service projects include: Last Chance Corral, United Campus Ministry, Good Works, City of Athens, Friends & Neighbours Pantry and the Southeast Ohio Regional Food Bank)

Ohio Governor John Kasich issued a proclamation honoring Dr. King's life.  If you want to read a copy of that proclamation, click here.