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MLK Days of Dialogue Events Feb. 2-7 at UW

January 21, 2015

Panel discussions, a community supper and a keynote address by the first openly gay athlete in any of the four major professional American sports highlight this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue (MLKDOD) at the University of Wyoming.

MLKDOD events are scheduled during the week of Feb. 2-7 -- later dates than in years past. Events each year are designed to raise awareness of diversity issues, build a sense of community and celebrate diversity.

This year's MLKDOD theme, “Equity in the Equality State,” recognizes the importance of dialogue about issues that affect Wyoming, say the committee’s co-chairs, Ryan Dinneen O'Neil and Chicory Bechtel. UW community members honor the continuing impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his life and ideals through this celebration. The week of activities serves as a renewal of UW's commitment to making the campus and Wyoming a more welcoming and empowering place for people from different backgrounds, heritages, orientations and abilities, Dinneen O’Neil and Bechtel say.

Among the panel topics to be presented are “Immigration Today: No Longer Give Me Your Tired and Your Poor” at noon Monday, Feb. 2, in the Wyoming Union Family Room; “#ITooAmWyoming: Challenging Racial Microaggressions on Campus,” Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 12:15 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Center Ballroom; “The Negro Zone” film and discussion, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, in the Wyoming Union Ballroom; and “What’s Next? Moving Beyond Marriage Equality in Wyoming,” Thursday, Feb. 5, at 12:15 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Center Ballroom.

This year’s keynote speaker is Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player. He will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in the Wyoming Union Ballroom. His talk is free and open to the public. Collins recently retired after 13 seasons in the NBA, having played late in the season a year ago with the Brooklyn Nets.

His No. 98 uniform, in honor of slain UW student Matthew Shepard, who was killed in 1998, was among the NBA’s top-selling jerseys last season.

The annual Willena Stanford Community Supper and program is Monday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom. A rally is planned at 5 p.m. in the Wyoming Union skylight lounge.

Other activities during the week include a coffee hour each morning to discuss the previous day’s programs; a book discussion Wednesday, Feb. 4, at noon in Coe Library Room 506; a film, “Dear White People,” sponsored by Friday Night Fever, will be shown at 6:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Family Room Friday, Feb. 6; and also the same night, social justice comedian Negin Farsad will perform at 9 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom.

The week concludes Saturday, Feb. 7, with a day of service that begins at 9 a.m. and ends with a diversity ball at 6 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom.

To view the entire week’s events with more details, visit the MLKDOD website at

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