Search within:
2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Join us in celebration all week long, starting Monday, January 16th!

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Ohio University 2023 MLK Celebration: Compassion Is the Key to Justice

Each year, Ohio University celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. throughout the month of January. The 2023 celebration aims to embody one of Dr. King's most pertinent traits: compassion.

The week-long celebration honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with inclusive OHIO and regional communities tributes that highlights equality and social justice. We honor Dr. King for his work toward racial equality and justice for all people and for his dedication to nonviolence.

MLK Celebration Events

View All MLK Events

Monday, January 16 MLK Jr. Celebration 2023 - Silent March 10:00 AM — 10:30 AM Gilbreath Chapel - OHIO University College Green
Monday, January 16 MLK Celebratory Brunch 11:00 AM — 1:00 PM Baker Ballroom
Tuesday, January 17 MLK Jr. Celebration - Movies at the Athena All Day Athena Cinema
Wednesday, January 18 Self Compassion and Self-Care Luncheon 12:00 PM — 1:00 PM Baker University Center, Room 231
Wednesday, January 18 MLK Jr. Celebration - Black Excellence Panel 6:00 PM — 7:00 PM

Tickets Available Now: MLK Jr. Celebratory Brunch

Ohio University 2023 MLK Celebration: Compassion Is the Key to Justice

Each year, OHIO hosts a brunch to kick-off a week-long celebration to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year's brunch will feature vocal and dance performances and a keynote address by OHIO alumnus Zachary Kiesch, an ABC News Correspondent based in New York.

Individual Tickets: $10 for students and $30 for non-students
Table Sponsorships: $180 for student organizations and $500 for non-students and University departments

Email diversityinclusion@ohio.edu to reserve a table with a University account number.

Purchase a Ticket or Table

Download the 2023 MLK Jr. Celebration Brunch invite [PDF]

Speakers and Guests

Zachary Kiesch

Zachary Kiesch

Selected as the 2023 keynote speaker for the MLK Jr. Celebration annual brunch, Kiesch graduated from OHIO in 2006 with degrees in broadcast journalism and sport management and was a member of the OHIO Bobcats football team. He currently works as a correspondent for ABC News based in New York.

Reverend Wheeler Parker

Rev. Wheeler Parker

Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr. is the cousin and best friend of the late Emmett Till. He is also the last living witness to the kidnapping of Till. His memoir, “A Few Days Full of Trouble,” published by Random House, will be released January 10, 2023. The pursuit of justice in the lynching and brutal murder of his best friend and cousin on August 28, 1955 has been a central focal point of his mission and ministry for years. His journey to justice has included a relentless advocacy for truth, as he has been deeply disappointed by the many erroneous news, books and documentary reports that have been produced surrounding Till’s case. He has carried this commitment as a truth-bearer, with a message of love, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee Members

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion would like to thank the MLK Jr. Celebration committee members for their contributions — including their time and energy — that ensure the event's success.

2022-2023 Committee Members

Co-Chairs

  • Travis Gatling – Professor, School of Dance, College of Fine Arts
    gatling@ohio.edu
  • Vanessa Morgan Nai – Assistant Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
    morganv1@ohio.edu

Committee Members

  • Dr. Salome Nnoromele – Interim Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

  • Jesean Williams – Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (representing members of the fraternity)

  • Dr. Pam Kaylor – Professor of Instruction, Communication Studies and Women's Gender, & Sexuality Studies Department (Lancaster Campus)

  • Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. – Executive Director, Ohio Council of Churches

  • Micah McCarey – Director, LGBT Center

  • Tia Jameson – Assistant Athletics Director of Student-Athlete Development and Inclusion, Division of Athletics

  • Elizabeth Pahl – Associate Director, University Event Services

  • Courtney Lefebvre Little – Assistant Director, Center for Campus and Community Engagement

  • Dr. Duane Bruce – Executive Director of the Division of Diversity and Inclusion

  • Pat Bungard – Administrative Specialist, Division of Diversity and Inclusion

  • Shayne Lopez – Athens County Foundation

  • Lacey Rogers – DEI Coordinator, City of Athens

Past Committee Members

2021–2022

Co-Chairs

  • Travis Gatling – Director, School of Dance, College of Fine Arts
    gatling@ohio.edu
  • Vanessa Morgan Nai – Coordinator for Multicultural Advising and African American Student Success, Office for Multicultural Success and Retention
    morganv1@ohio.edu

Committee Members

  • Dr. Gigi Secuban (Ex-Officio) – Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

  • Jesean Williams – Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (representing members of the fraternity)

  • Dr. Pam Kaylor – Professor of Instruction, Communication Studies and Women's Gender, & Sexuality Studies Department (Lancaster Campus)

  • Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. – Executive Director, Ohio Council of Churches

  • Micah McCarey – Director, LGBT Center

  • Tia Jameson – Director of Women's Basketball Operations, Division of Athletics

  • Elizabeth Pahl – Associate Director, University Event Services

  • Courtney Lefebvre Little – Assistant Director, Center for Campus and Community Engagement

  • Dr. Duane Bruce – Interim Assistant Director, Multicultural Center

  • Pat Bungard – Administrative Services Associate, Office for Multicultural Student Access and Retention/Division of Diversity and Inclusion


2020–2021

Co-Chairs

  • Travis Gatling – Director, School of Dance, College of Fine Arts
    gatling@ohio.edu
  • Vanessa Morgan Nai – Coordinator for Multicultural Advising and African American Student Success, Office for Multicultural Student Access and Retention
    morganv1@ohio.edu

Committee Members

  • Dr. Gigi Secuban (Ex-Officio) – Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

  • Jaylen Braxton  President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (representing members of the fraternity)

  • Damon Scott – EBN Representative, College of Communication '89

  • Dr. Pam Kaylor – Professor of Instruction, Communication Studies and Women's Gender, & Sexuality Studies Department (Lancaster Campus)

  • Katie Beth Miksa – University Interfaith Association

  • Dr. Paula Miller-Buckner – Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology, College of Arts & Sciences

  • Dr. Ebony Green – Assistant Dean for Advising & Student Services, University College

  • Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. – Executive Director, Ohio Council of Churches

  • Micah McCarey – Director, LGBT Center

  • Sheldon Andrus – Art Director, University Communications and Marketing

  • Dr. Jason White – Associate Clinical Professor, School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, College of Health Sciences

  • Tia Jameson – Director of Women's Basketball Operations, Division of Athletics

  • Dr. Jason Rawls – Instructor of Teacher Education, Patton College of Education (Zanesville Campus)

  • Pat Bungard – Administrative Services Associate, Office for Multicultural Student Access and Retention/Division of Diversity and Inclusion


2019–2020

Co-Chairs

  • Tyrone Carr, Special Assistant to the Vice President for University Advancement/ Executive Director of The Interlink Alliance
    carrt@ohio.edu
  • Tamika Williams, Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Career Network williat8@ohio.edu

Committee Members

  • Student Representatives – Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

  • Caryn Bailey – Assistant Director of Development, Diversity & Inclusion, University Wide Initiatives Division of University Advancement 

  • Dr. Winsome Chunnu – Director, Multicultural Center

  • Dr. Theda Gibbs – Assistant Professor, Teacher Education

  • Amanda Graham – Executive Assistant, Diversity and Inclusion

  • Barbara Harrison – Assistant Director, Off-Campus Living

  • Christopher Kennedy – Digital Designer, University Communications and Marketing

  • George Mauzy – Multimedia Content Specialist, University Communications and Marketing

  • Rev. Evan Young – Campus Minister, United Campus Ministry

  • Lacey Rogers – Assistant Director, United Campus Ministry

Connect with Us

Follow the Division of Diversity and Inclusion and its offices on social media!