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Jan. 11, 2019 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. begins a week before the national holiday in his name. The Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion partnered with groups across campus and across the nation to launch a two-week MLK Celebration in honor of Dr. King’s ideals and legacy.
Events begin Jan. 14 with “The Road to the Promised Land: Martin Luther King Jr. & the Civil Rights Movement,” an exhibition by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibit features photographs and facsimiles of landmark documents and quotations by Dr. King and others engaged in the struggle for civil rights. “The Road to the Promised Land” surveys the Civil Rights Movement from the emergence of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 through the 1990s.
The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to the 1980s changed the face of the nation with a minimum of violence, laying the groundwork for crusades by other minorities to claim their rights. The efforts to achieve equality produced a revolutionary social impact. “The Road to the Promised Land” illustrates the movement’s enduring significance by focusing on the people and the events that made it possible. The exhibition will be available to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 23, and all are welcome to attend an opening reception for the exhibit at 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 14.
The following day features “Ask Your Mama:12 Moods for Jazz,” part of The Langston Hughes Project. This lively multimedia performance features jazz music, spoken word poetry, and visuals of the legendary poet’s epic masterpiece and Hughes’ homage to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s. The event is created and presented by Dr. Ron McCurdy, a music professor at the University of Southern California and a consultant to the Grammy Foundation and Walt Disney educational programs. The show begins at 7 p.m. on Jan. 15 in Groth Recital Hall, Loso 126.
Finally, “Building the Beloved Community: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Challenge to America and the World” takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 22 at the La Grande Methodist Church, 1612 Fourth Street. The event is presented by Chris Burford, EOU General Counsel, who has spent years studying and presenting on Dr. King’s work.
“The presentation consists mostly of Dr. King’s own words,” Burford said. “I use recordings and quotations from Dr. King’s speeches, writings and sermons to identify key themes of his ministry, prompting discussion of how those themes continue to challenge us today.”
All events are sponsored by the EOU Diversity Committee, TRIO/Student Support Services, and EOU Student Diversity and Inclusion, in partnership with Humanities Texas. All events are free and open to the public.
“I’m really glad that TRIO could be a part of bringing such wonderful performances and exhibits to the EOU community,” said TRIO Director Michael Williams. “I really believe that this is a great educational opportunity for us all. MLK, Jr. and Black History was so much more than “I Have a Dream” and this is a great way to showcase that.”
For more information, contact Bennie Moses in the Multicultural Center at 541-962-3094 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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