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Martin Luther King Jr. day events offer variety

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 10, 2007) -- Ohio University and its Center for Community Service have been working hard to plan numerous events to be held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 15.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day observed at Ohio University. Image courtesy of the President's Office for Diversity."It Takes a Village" is a program designed for kindergarten through 12th-grade students. When students arrive on campus, they will be separated into groups based on their ages. They will then participate in different activities using materials from the Southern Poverty Law Center's "teaching tolerance" project. The project is designed to educate youth about the importance of tolerance and justice. The event will begin at 1 p.m. at the Multicultural Center in the new Baker University Center.

"The 'It Takes a Village' program is very important because it communicates to young people that we should all appreciate the differences in one another," said G. Christine Taylor, assistant to the president for diversity. 

The evening program, "Keeping the Dream Alive," will incorporate song, dance and the spoken word to honor the life and spirit of King. University students and members of the community will perform many of the song and dance pieces.

"Our evening program, 'Keeping the Dream Alive,' is designed to unite and involve the entire community," Taylor said. 

"Moving Images from the Civil Rights Movement," the multimedia component of the program, will show many pictures from the civil rights movement of the 1960s. 

The "Man on the Street" is another segment of the celebration. It will pull many people from the Athens and Ohio University communities to discuss Martin Luther King Jr. and his influence on all diverse people, not just African Americans. This component illustrates the sprawling effect King had on the world. 

The keynote speaker for "Keeping the Dream Alive" will be new Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann. The event begins at 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 15, in the Baker University Center Ballroom. All attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Athens Food Pantry. 

"It Takes a Village" and "Keeping the Dream Alive" are sponsored by the President's Office for Diversity.

The community service project for the day is Love Luggage, which will be done from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 230 in Baker University Center. Donated toiletries, school supplies and other items will be used to fill pieces of luggage for children in foster care. Ohio University students will decorate these bags, backpacks and suitcases. This event is organized by the Ohio University Center for Community Service.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy at 740-597-1794 or  mauzy@ohio.edu

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