Michigan State University’s 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration is a special one.
It will officially launch “Project 60/50” – a yearlong celebration using the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to engage the MSU campus and greater community in a broad range of civil and human rights conversations.
The project, coordinated through MSU’s Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, features four capstone events as well as a multitude of lectures, symposiums, workshops and programs held throughout the year on MSU’s campus.
“While there is no denying the progress we’ve made as a country since these two major events occurred, from time to time it is important to assess that progress,” said Paulette Granberry Russell, senior adviser to the president for diversity and director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. “‘Project 60/50’ provides us the opportunity to engage in conversations on where we stand today in all aspects of civil and human rights, and project into the future as members of a global community.”
“Struggle for Justice – Past, Present and Future,” the theme of this year’s MLK Jr. commemoration, is the first “Project 60/50” capstone event of the year and a fitting way to launch the initiative, Granberry Russell said.
“King was not alone in the work to advance civil rights in this country and clearly, his influence was a direct result of his ability to engage others in the conversation on civil and human rights,” she said.
Following are some of the MLK Jr. commemorative events.
Saturday, Jan. 18
- 10th Anniversary of the MLK Student Leadership Conference
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., MSU Union
- Showtyme @ MSU featuring Mary Lambert
8 p.m., Pasant Theatre, Wharton Center for Performing Arts
Featuring Grammy nominee, Mary Lambert, this is a family-friendly and educational event where students perform their many talents in front of a panel of judges and the audience.
Sunday, Jan. 19
- “Jazz: Spirituals, Prayer and Protest” concert
3 p.m., 7 p.m., Pasant Theatre, Wharton Center for Performing Arts
Monday, Jan. 20
- “Listen: MLK Speaks”
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Cook Recital Hall, Music Building
The College of Music is presenting a continuous loop audio of King’s full “I Have A Dream” speech that will play approximately every 20 minutes.
- What’s Your 110?
10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Ballroom / Lake Huron Room, MSU Union
The Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, Into the Streets student organization and other partners will be hosting a community partners fair. The fair will feature dozens of local and statewide nonprofit and community organizations looking for volunteers.
- MLK Commemorative March
3 p.m., First floor lobby, MSU Union
- MLK Community Celebration Dinner
4:45 p.m. (doors open); program starts at 5:35 p.m. Pre-reservations required and can be made online.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Jan. 20. Classes are canceled, but the university remains open.
All MLK Jr. commemorative events and “Project 60/50” events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. For a complete list of MLK Jr. events, go here. For a complete list of “Project 60/50” events, go here.