Ohio University

2020 MLK Jr. Celebration runs Jan. 20-26

Published: January 9, 2020 Author: George E. Mauzy Jr.

Ohio University will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in January 2020 on the Athens Campus. The annual celebration is coordinated by the University's MLK Jr. Celebration Planning Committee and is sponsored by the Division of Diversity and Inclusion. Other sponsors of the celebration include the OHIO Department of English, Brenen's Coffee, Court Street Coffee, Donkey Coffee and Doctor Pizza.

For the second consecutive year, the committee is co-chaired by OHIO administrators Tyrone Carr, special assistant to the vice president for University Advancement/executive director of The Interlink Alliance, and Tamika Williams, assistant director for diversity and inclusion, Career and Leadership Development Center.

These are the 2020 committee-sponsored events:


Monday, Jan. 20 (National MLK Jr. Day)

Silent March ● Galbreath Chapel ● 10:30 a.m.

The Silent March, sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, will begin in front of Galbreath Chapel and end at the fourth-floor entrance of Baker University Center. Marchers are encouraged to bring a civil rights sign to hold during the walk. This event is free and open to the public.

MLK Jr. Celebratory Brunch ● Baker University Center Ballroom ● 11 a.m.

The annual brunch, sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, will include a keynote speech and dance, spoken word and singing performances. The featured speaker is OHIO alumnus Dr. Kalvin Harvell, professor of sociology at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Ticket prices are: Students $15; non-students $25; student table (eight seats) $120; non-student table (eight seats) $190.


Tuesday, Jan. 21

Faith Acts ● Galbreath Memorial Chapel ● 7 p.m.

This year’s keynote speaker is Rabbi Sandra Lawson, associate chaplain for Jewish life at Elon University. She is the first openly gay, black female rabbi in the world. Rabbi Sandra Lawson will speak about living as a black queer rabbi at the intersection of faith and social justice. She has served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer specializing in investigating cases of child abuse and domestic violence. She hosts a podcast on Torah, Jewish prayer, and Jewish music titled "Hineni (Here I Am)." She currently serves as the associate chaplain for Jewish life and the senior Jewish educator at Hillel at Elon University in North Carolina. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.


Wednesday, Jan. 22

Career and Leadership Development Center Black Excellence Panel ● Amanda J. Cunningham Center, Baker University Center 366 ● Panel Discussion – 6 p.m./Networking Hour – 7 p.m.

The Career and Leadership Development Center will host a panel discussion featuring faculty, staff and students as well as local business owners. The panelists, Dr. Tanisha King-Taylor, Allison Hunter and Stephen Adams, will discuss their career paths and take questions from the audience.

  • King-Taylor, interim chief inclusion officer in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, is an author and motivational speaker who has researched microaggressions and the myth of the strong black woman.
  • Hunter, editor-in-chief at OHIO’s WOUB Public Media, is a two-time OHIO alumna who has created more than 3,000 hours of live broadcasts and served as a manager in some of the nation’s largest newsrooms.
  • Adams is owner and founder of Odyssey Nutrition, a nutrition club that serves meal replacement smoothies and herbal teas in its Athens, Ohio, and Vienna, West Virginia, locations. He is a recent OHIO alumnus and Herbal Life coach.

During the networking portion of the event, students will have to opportunity to mingle with the alumni, business owners and faculty in attendance. Refreshments will be served.


Thursday, Jan. 23

Charity Basketball Game ● Ping Recreation Center Area D ● 6-8 p.m.

The game will feature faculty, staff and students from the Athens campus. Admission to the game is a donated non-perishable food item or personal care item. Donated items will go to a local charity. The event is open to the public.


MLK Laurent Che
Spoken word artist Laurent Che will perform on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. in the Baker Center Theatre.


Friday, Jan. 24

MLK Jr. Celebration Arts Cypher ● Baker University Center Theatre ● 6 p.m.

This talent showcase will feature poets, musicians and spoken word artists performing social justice-themed work. Laurent Che, a spoken word artist, content producer, and hip-hop choreographer, will be the featured performer. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native was a finalist in the national “The Last Poet Standing” competition. A few of the scheduled local performers include Athens Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour, Wendy McVicker, Isaiah Underwood, Bonnie Proudfoot, Dan Canterbury, Keith Phetlhe and Ivars Balkits. Free Doctor Pizza and beverages will be available after the show. 


Saturday, Jan. 25

Day of Service ● Athens Campus and surrounding area ● 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The MLK Jr. Day of Service is an opportunity for campus and community participants to volunteer in a local service project. Service opportunities include Passion Works, UCM Saturday Lunch, Southeast Ohio Food Bank, Athens Village and Athens County Food Pantry. To register to volunteer, visit Give Pulse. For more information, contact Community Engagement Programs at harrisob@ohio.edu or 740-593-4007.


Sunday, Jan. 26

Multicultural Fitness Expo ● Grover Center Atrium ● 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Multicultural Fitness Expo will be an opportunity for all attendees to explore various wellness avenues and the importance of holistic well-being. The event will feature group fitness class demos, local vendors, and presentations on various topics such as nutrition, fitness, mindset and more. To volunteer for the event, visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeFcHOAttBCgn3sEo67KULV-p0M6-WOJV7BhxFV76g-_FKl_Q/viewform. For more information, contact Shilah Kidd at sk143814@ohio.edu or Lynsey Booker at lb913015@ohio.edu.


Athens County School Supply Drive, Through Jan. 31

The Athens Campus will host a school supply drive to benefit elementary schools in the following school districts: Athens City School District (The Plains Elementary), Alexander Local, Federal Hocking and Trimble Local. Items will be collected from various drop off boxes on the Athens campus, which will be announced soon.

For more information about the MLK Jr. Celebration, visit https://www.ohio.edu/diversity/dr-mlk-jr-celebration.