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Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue Events Scheduled at UW

January 10, 2017
man standing in front of a wall with arms crossed
Native American hip-hop artist Frank Waln will give a free performance Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Gardens as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue events. (Melinda Jane Myers Photo)

Speakers, a Native American hip-hop artist, coffee talks, and the annual march and supper highlight Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue (MLK DOD) Jan. 30-Feb. 4 at the University of Wyoming.

MLK DOD events are scheduled at later dates than in previous years and coincide with the return of students for the start of the spring semester Monday, Jan. 23. Events each year are offered to raise awareness of diversity issues, build a sense of community and celebrate diversity.

The theme for the latest MLK DOD week of events is “The Fierce Urgency of Now,” a line taken from one of King’s speeches.

In April 1967, a year before he was killed, King preached on the “fierce urgency of now” in a sermon, titled “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” Of all his speeches, it remains among the least remembered because it summoned Christians to protest the Vietnam War. Despite the specific historical references, King’s argument that civil rights and world peace are interwoven offers insights into today’s problems and mankind’s future.

UW community members honor the continuing impact of King and his life and ideals through this celebration. The week of activities renews UW’s commitment to making the campus and Wyoming a more welcoming and empowering place for people from different backgrounds, heritages, orientations and abilities, says committee co-chair Joi Thomas.

The week’s activities begin with the annual rally and march beginning at 5 p.m. in the Wyoming Union skylight lounge. Marchers will then gather in the Wyoming Union Ballroom at 6 p.m. for the community supper and the presentation of the Willena Stanford Commitment to Diversity Award to a UW student.

New York City actress, comedian and video blogger Franchesca Ramsey is the keynote speaker Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom.

As a video blogger, Ramsey, who is known as “Chescaleigh,” has more than 29 million views on YouTube and more than half a million followers across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Her videos have been featured on MTV, The New York Times and The BBC.

To learn more about Ramsey, view her website at

Native American hip-hop artist Frank Waln will give a free performance Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Gardens. He is an award-winning Sicangu Lakota performer and music producer from South Dakota’s Rosebud Indian Reservation. While at UW, Waln will visit American Indian Studies classes and also will conduct an outreach program at the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fremont County.

For more information about Waln, visit

Other activities throughout the week include luncheon panel discussions and morning coffee talks on latest diversity issues and the UW United Multicultural Council’s diversity ball, which concludes the schedule Saturday, Feb. 4.

For a complete MLK DOD daily schedule of events, visit the website at

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