Brian Bridges

Brian Bridges

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OHIO invited to join in celebrating MLK, Jr.

On Wednesday, Vice Provost for Diversity, Access, and Equity Brian Bridges sent an email to the OHIO community inviting them to participate in the many events celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy New Year fellow Bobcats!

Ohio University's annual Martin Luther King Celebration is quickly approaching. Centered around the theme, "The dream lives on in you: Service, community, teaching," this year's commemorative celebration builds upon previous years' activities by focusing on King's service legacy in the Athens community. The culminating brunch at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 16 in Baker University Center is sold out.

Please refer to events below for the details on the week's activities and contact information for specific events.

Please encourage students, community members and colleagues to attend events.

Thursday, Jan.12
MLK, Jr. Celebration of Creativity
Baker Center Ballroom Atrium Area Creativity Showcase * 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Kids Art reception * 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
The Celebration of Creativity is open to students in grades K-12 surrounding Ohio University Regional Campuses and Athens County Schools. In honor of Dr. King's legacy participants will create original art work while incorporating this year's MLK Jr. theme: "The dream lives on in you: Service, community, teaching." Winners will be recognized at the Creativity Showcase at 6 p.m., followed by the Kids Art Reception at 7 p.m.. For more information contact Nancy Baur at

MLK, Jr. Opening Panel: "More Than a Dream: Social Justice, Community and King"
Baker Center Ballroom A * 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Campus and community leaders will discuss the life and work of MLK Jr. beyond the March. Panelists include: Jan Griesinger, Athens resident, social justice advocate and former Director of United Campus Ministry; Monica Jones, director of diversity for Ohio University regional campuses; Tony Mayle, Ohio University graduate and member of the Chesterhill Multicultural Genealogical Center (MGC); and George Wood, superintendent and secondary school principal of Federal Hocking Local Schools. For more information contact Akil Houston at

Friday, Jan. 13
S.T.A.R.S. Presents "It Takes a Village"
Baker Center * 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Select students attending Athens County Schools will participate in an interactive workshop led by Students Teaching About Racism in Society (S.T.A.R.S.). Workshop activities are related to Dr. King's legacy of equality and justice. For more information contact Stephanie Sheeley at

Saturday, Jan. 14
MLK, Jr. Day of Service
Walter Hall 145 *10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The MLK Jr. Day of Service is an opportunity for campus and community participants to volunteer in service projects throughout Athens County. Service projects include:

  • Habitat for Humanity* (10 volunteers needed) 

    • Volunteers needed for home building 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. * 308 Oak Street, Nelsonville, Ohio  

  • Multicultural Genealogical Center* (20 volunteers needed)  

    • Volunteers needed to clean and perform office work noon - 3 p.m. * Chesterhill, Ohio

  • Re-Store Habitat Store* (5 volunteers needed)  

    • Volunteers needed to clean and work in store noon - 3 p.m. * 4 South Plains Road, The Plains, Ohio  

  • United Campus Ministry (20 volunteers needed) 

    • Volunteers needed to assist with Saturday lunch 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. * 18 North College Street, Athens, OH

 * Transportation provided
Ohio University regional campus involvement welcomed

To sign up visit the Campus Involvement Center website. Volunteers will meet outside the Campus Involvement Center (Baker Center 355) 30 minutes prior to service event. Volunteers will convene at Walter Hall Room 145 at 4 p.m. to reflect on their day of service. For more information contact Jim Sand at or 740.597.9968 or Melissa Wales at or 740.593.7301.

Additional service opportunity includes Good Works, Inc. 10th Annual Walk for the Homeless which will take place Saturday, Jan. 14, at 8:30 a.m. For more information visit call 740.594.3339.

Monday, Jan. 16
12th Annual MLK, Jr. Silent March and Celebratory Brunch
Silent March * Galbreath Chapel 10 a.m.
MLK Jr. Brunch * Baker Center Ballroom 11 a.m.

The 12th Annual MLK Jr. Silent March & Brunch is a time where the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Phi Chapter honor their brother Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event serves as a place for the Ohio University and Athens communities to gather in a common location to celebrate the life, legacy and service of MLK Jr.

The Silent March begins at 10 a.m. in front of Galbreath Chapel and will end at Baker University Center. The Brunch will be held in the Baker University Center Ballroom at 11 a.m. Ticket sales for this event will begin Jan. 4, and can be purchased through the Multicultural Center (740.593.4027) located at 205 Baker University Center.

  • $10 students

  • $15 General

  • $75 Student table

  • $110 General table

Kemba Smith-Pradia, advocate, consultant and public speaker, will headline Ohio University's Annual MLK Jr. Brunch. Smith-Pradia will speak to the topic, "From a dream to social justice: How a woman transformed adverse circumstances into healthy choices, healing and social justice." She attended Howard University School of Law and is a graduate of Virginia Union University. She was also an award recipient for a two year Soros Justice Postgraduate Fellowship for advocates. Currently, Kemba is continuing to develop her 501(c)(3) foundation, the Kemba Smith Foundation.

In her long-awaited memoir, Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story, Smith-Pradia chronicles her story of how making poor choices can have long-term consequences. Kemba's story has been featured on CNN, Nightline, The Early Morning Show and a host of other television programs. In addition, Kemba's story has been featured in several publications such as the Washington Post, The New York Times and People Magazines. For more information on Smith-Pradia visit:

The 12th Annual MLK Jr. Brunch is collaboratively sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Phi Chapter, Black Student Cultural Programming Board (BSCPB), Campus Involvement Center, The Office for Diversity, Access and Equity, Multicultural Programs, Ohio University MLK Planning Committee, Residential Housing , Senate Appropriations Commission (SAC) and University Program Council. For more information contact Vincent Harris ( at 740.593.9387.

Best regards,

Brian Bridges
Vice Provost for Diversity, Access and Equity