Ohio University

OHIO to host MLK Jr. celebration Jan. 18-22

Published: January 8, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a week of special virtual events Jan. 18-22. 

The events are sponsored by the Ohio University Division of Diversity and Inclusion and are coordinated by the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee. This year the committee is co-chaired by Travis Gatling, director of the School of Dance in the College of Fine Arts, and Vanessa Morgan-Nai, coordinator for Multicultural Advising and African American Student Success, Office for Multicultural Student Access and Retention. 

The committee includes current students members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Phi Chapter, Phi Chapter alumni, and other members of the fraternity, which annually sponsors the Silent March and Brunch held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Ohio University. 

Each year, Ohio University honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an inclusive OHIO and Athens community tribute that highlights equality and social justice issues. We honor Dr. King for his work toward racial equality and justice for all people and for his dedication to nonviolence. 

“This year’s MLK celebration looks different than in years past, but we remain unwavering in our dedication to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service and action. Today, we renew our resolve to act together as one community, to create an anti-racist, inclusive and equitable OHIO and Athens community in which all can be safe, grow, thrive and realize their potential. I am proud of the work the organizing committee and our entire community is doing in support of this vision,” said Dr. Gigi Secuban, vice president of diversity and inclusion and ex-officio member of the Celebration Committee. 

The week-long celebration kicks off with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Brunch, which this year will be held in a drive-in format Monday, Jan. 18 at Peden Stadium. The guest speaker for this year’s brunch is Jericka Duncan, ‘05.

Duncan is a national correspondent and anchor of the Sunday edition of the “CBS Weekend News.” She has been a CBS News correspondent since 2013, has reported such significant stories as accusations against R Kelly, Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein; the shooting deaths of four Marines and a Navy sailor in Chattanooga; the 70th anniversary of D-Day and Normandy; as well as a variety of national breaking news stories. In 2018, she spent time in Washington D.C. covering the White House.

Duncan is an Emmy-nominated journalist who has received several awards for her reporting, including two National Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and honors from the Associated Press and the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, which named her Journalist of the Year in 2012. 

Duncan graduated from Ohio University in 2005 with a degree in communications. She recently received a Juris Master in American Legal Studies from Liberty University. Duncan is a 2005 NAACP Image Award recipient. In 2006, she was a fellow at a North Carolina A&T conference on childhood obesity. She is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club and the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. 

To participate in the brunch, register by Friday, Jan. 15 at the celebration week webpage https://www.ohio.edu/diversity/dr-mlk-jr-celebration

The official celebration events for 2021 are:

Monday, Jan. 18, 10:30 a.m. — MLK Silent March (participation by invitation only this year due to COVID restrictions) and Drive-In Brunch (Both events sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.)

Tuesday, Jan. 19, noon to 1 p.m. — Self-Care and Activism 

Thursday, Jan. 21, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Promoting Activism

Friday, Jan. 22, noon to 1 p.m. — Community and Arts

Friday, Jan. 22, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Trivia Night

Visit OHIO’s 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration webpage for more information about each of the events and to register to attend. In addition, visitors to the webpage can view information about a school supply drive that will benefit elementary schools. 

Related University events for the week can be submitted to or viewed on the Calendar of University Events. https://calendar.ohio.edu/