Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr. visited and spoke at Kansas State, the university celebrates another Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Week.
King’s birthday, Jan. 15, is recognized by the federal government on the third Monday of January, in accordance with a 1983 amendment to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. MLK Day serves as an opportunity to remember the nonviolent social change efforts made by King and other individuals during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
Jan. 19, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of King’s speech at K-State in 1968.
In both observation and celebration of the life of King, the Office of Diversity is offering events that are open and free to the public between the dates of Jan. 19 and Jan. 26.
The “I Was There” panel on Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the Leadership Studies Town Hall will kick off MLK Observance Week. Panelists who were present during King’s 1968 speech will share their reflections.
On Monday, the 14th annual College of Agriculture Diversity Student Leader Reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Waters 137.
The 18th annual College of Business Administration Diversity Lecture will be held Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Business Administration Building auditorium.
The fourth annual College of Arts and Sciences Civil Rights Teach-In will be held on Jan. 24 from noon to 3 p.m. in the K-State Student Union courtyard.
On Jan. 25, Martin Luther King III, the activist’s oldest son, will be presenting a lecture at 12:30 p.m. in the Banquet Room at the K-State Alumni Center along with a candlelight vigil. At 2 p.m., there will be a Laying of the Wreaths ceremony on the Martin Luther King Jr. bust on the southeast side of Ahearn Field House.
To complete the week, there will be a Kansas State University Affinity Group-sponsored viewing of the 1968 speech King gave at K-State on Jan. 26 at noon in the Cottonwood Room.
Adrian Rodriguez, associate vice president for student life for diversity and multicultural student affairs, said in an interview for K-State Today that he encourages the university’s community to take part in the events offered in the coming week in order to build on the KSUnite effort and “continue our work toward strengthening diversity, inclusion and equity.”