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December 19, 2013 — The University of Wyoming will celebrate the continuing influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and ideals through events scheduled Jan. 20-25.
The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue (MLK DOD) serves as a renewal of UW’s commitment to making campus a more welcoming and empowering place for people from different backgrounds, heritages, orientations, abilities and perspectives, say co-chairs Chicory Bechtel and Erin Olsen.
They say this year's theme, "Dream Forward,” was chosen in honor of the 50th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech during the historic march on Washington, D.C.
“Planning efforts this year have placed a continuing emphasis on building community and promoting awareness of diversity through dialogue,” Bechtel says. “Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue provides an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our community, get involved and make a difference.”
The week begins Monday, Jan. 20, with the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, an event hosted by the UW Service, Leadership and Community Engagement (SLCE) office. Students, staff, faculty and community members are encouraged to make MLK Day “a day on, not a day off” by spending a couple of hours participating in community service.
Volunteers will organize at 1 p.m. in the Wyoming Union before being transported to the Laramie Plains Civic Center, where they will take part in various service activities. After the service is completed at 3:30 p.m., volunteers will have the opportunity to take part in the annual MLK March.
The MLK March is a key tradition for the UW/Laramie community. The march commemorates the historic march on Washington, D.C., for jobs and freedom, and King’s Legacy.
Those interested in participating will gather at the Albany County Courthouse steps at 4 p.m.
The Willena Stanford Community Supper immediately follows the MLK March at 4:45 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom. The event honors of Stanford, a former UW instructor in African-American and Diaspora Studies, who had a strong commitment to the education of all UW students.
In addition to the free community dinner, the program will include an awards presentation to a UW student who is committed to diversity. Musical and theatrical performances also are scheduled.
Other events during the week include luncheon panel and book discussions; the showing of the film “Fruitvale Station”; a yoga session; and a Diversity Ball. The keynote address is scheduled for Jan. 22 -- the committee is waiting for the keynote speaker’s contract to be finalized.
Check periodically for MLK DOD updates and events at www.mlkdod.com, on Facebook and on WyoCal.Individuals with disabilities who need accommodations should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.