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.

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

The 2018 Peace Breakfast will be Monday, January 15, 9-10:30 a.m. in the CH2M HILL Alumni Ballroom. The Peace Breakfast is free and open with registration to Oregon State community members and invited guests. Update 1/10/18: The Peace Breakfast is sold out.


The Keynote Address will be Monday, January 15, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. in the LaSells Stewart Center. Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry will deliver the 2018 Keynote Address. Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, the executive director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center. She is the award-winning author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought and Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America. The Keynote is free and open to the public.


The Peace March will be Monday, January 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m., and begins at the LaSells Stewart Center following Dr. Harris-Perry's keynote. The route travels one mile around campus, and concludes with a short program and refreshments in the SEC Plaza. The Peace March is free and open to the public.


Legacy Awards

In 2018, three legacy awards will be awarded at the Peace Breakfast by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration committee – the Phyllis S. Lee Award,  the Frances Dancy Hooks Award, and for the first time, the Oscar Humberto Montemayor Award.

Nominations for all three awards may be submitted here until December 8, 2017.

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.