2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is one of the longest running annual events at Oregon State focused on social justice and transformative change. The Office of Institutional Diversity coordinates the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, with important assistance from the Celebration Planning Committee. In its 35th year, this year’s Celebration will begin on Saturday, January 14, 2017 and conclude on Friday, January 20, 2017.

The Celebration has three important objectives, to provide the Oregon State community the opportunity to:

  • Learn about and reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King and collaboratively envision ways to carry his work forward;
  • Participate in an impactful, inclusive and engaging celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King; and
  • Collaboratively learn about, reflect on and carry forward the legacy of Dr. King in a way that is relevant in today's context.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration consists of two main events:

  • The Celebration - A week long event consisting of workshops, speakers, service opportunities and other community engagement events hosted by departments and units throughout Oregon State.
  • The Peace Breakfast, Keynote Address and Peace March - A breakfast to honor the legacy of Dr. King, where legacy awards are presented to community members for exemplary service. The Peace Breakfast takes place on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The breakfast is followed by a keynote address and Peace March.

Celebration Events

An important part of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration are events envisioned by Oregon State community members to collaboratively learn about, reflect on and carry on the legacy of Dr. King. A full listing of Celebration events is available here.

Peace Breakfast, Keynote Address and Peace March

This year’s Peace Breakfast will take place on January 16, 2017, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, in the CH2M HILL Alumni Center from 9:00am to 10:30am. The Celebration Keynote Address will be held in the LaSells Stewart Center following the Peace Breakfast from 11:00 am to 12:00pm. A Peace March from the LaSells Stewart Center to the SEC Plaza will begin at 12:30pm.

This year's Keynote Speaker is Franchesca Ramsey, an actress, comedian, writer, activist and a leading voice at the confluence of pop culture and social justice education. She hosts the popular Decoded series on MTV News and was a writer and regular contributor to The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central. Ramsey’s work with Decoded explores race, ethnicity, gender and culture by using comedy as a vehicle for activism and learning. Ramsey has been featured on MTV, in the New York Times, NPR, Ebony Magazine and the BBC.

The Peace Breakfast will be free and open with registration to Oregon State community members and invited guests. To register for the Peace Breakfast, click here.

The Keynote Address and Peace March will be free and open to the public.

Legacy Awards

Each year, two legacy awards are awarded at the Peace Breakfast by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration committee – the Phyllis S. Lee Award and the Frances Dancy Hooks Award.

The Phyllis S. Lee Award honors a member of the Oregon State community who exemplifies Dr. Lee’s commitment and dedication to social justice and the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Frances Dancy Hooks Award recognizes Oregon State students, staff or faculty who exemplify Frances Dancy Hooks’ work: building bridges across cultures, showing courage in promoting diversity and proudly “Walking the Talk.”

Celebration Planning Committee

The Celebration Planning Committee is made up of Oregon State community members (students, staff and faculty) who are engaged in planning a celebration that will be meaningful and inclusive, and that will provide opportunities for our community to come together in celebration, in reflection and in service.  The planning process is open to anyone who is willing and able to lend their voice and their energy to make the Celebration meaningful and impactful.