Lancaster – An Ohio University Lancaster Assistant Professor and student are attending the largest community breakfast event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States. Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Linda Trautman and Lisa Tate, a senior history major, are going to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Breakfast at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. It is on Monday, January 21, which is the MLK holiday.
"The breakfast is really designed to recognize the importance of Dr. King's message from a holistic perspective," said Trautman. "It is important for the university to have a presence at events like these to show we are interested in promoting inclusiveness."
Dr. Deforest Soaries, Jr. is the keynote speaker at the breakfast. He served as New Jersey's 30th Secretary of State and was the first African American male to serve as a constitutional officer in the state. Soaries is a best-selling author and frequent advisor to corporations in the areas of diversity, philanthropy and community relations.
Trautman invited Tate to attend the event as well.
"She comes from a family with a long tradition of civil rights activism," said Trautman. "She is planning to pursue a graduate degree in history as well."
Tate is not the only Lancaster Campus student honoring King. In class, Deaf Studies and Interpreting students are being asked to use sign language to communicate King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
"The students will have to study about MLK, his passion, his message," said Instructor Lorraine Rogers. "Then, hopefully, they will interpret with the same passion that he spoke."
There is also a display of books in the Hannah V. McCauley Library about King. The Lancaster Campus will be closed to mark the holiday.
During Black History Month in February, Kent State Associate Professor of History Dr. Leonne Hudson will give a speech at Ohio University Lancaster called "Supplying the Missing Pages in African American History." His area of specialty is 19th Century U.S. history with an emphasis on the Civil War era. He will talk about the reaction of black soldiers in the Civil War to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Hudson will speak February 28 at 7 p.m. in the art gallery located on the 5th floor of Brasee Hall.