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 University focused on social justice and transformative change, soon to be in its 36th year in 2018. Information regarding the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will be released in the coming months. 

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 forward his work;
  • Participate in an impactful, inclusive, and engaging celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King; and
  • Collaboratively learn about and reflect on 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 series 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. 

Peace Breakfast, Keynote Address, and Peace March

Information about the 2018 Peace Breakfast, Keynote Address, and Peace March will be released in the coming months.

The 2017 Peace Breakfast took 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 was 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 began at 12:30pm.

The 2017 Keynote Speaker was 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 is free and open with registration to Oregon State community members and invited guests. 

The Keynote Address and Peace March are 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.