Events are being held at the University of Oregon and in the community in mid-January to honor Martin Luther King Jr., the late civil rights leader.
On MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 15, the NAACP MLK Community March will make its way from Autzen Stadium to downtown Eugene. Marchers can begin gathering at 9 a.m. at the north gate of Autzen and PK Park, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Parking is available across the street at the Serbu Youth Center. The march, sponsored in part by the UO, will begin at 10 a.m. and follow MLK Boulevard downtown to the Shedd Institute for the Arts, where a program will be held from 11 a.m. to noon.
Other march sponsors include city of Eugene, Lane County, Lane Transit District and Lane Community College.
Later in the week, the UO Division of Equity and Inclusion will hold its annual MLK Awards Luncheon and Celebration on Jan. 17 at 11:30 a.m. at the Ford Alumni Center’s Giustina Ballroom. This year’s theme is “Reflecting on our Global King: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Call for the Beloved Global Community.”
Nina Turner will be the luncheon’s guest speaker. Turner is the president of the organization Our Revolution, a former state senator in Ohio and a CNN and Meet the Press correspondent. The program also will include a performance by the UO Gospel Choir, lunch and recognition of the 2018 award winners. Luncheon reservations should be requested no later than 5 p.m. Jan. 12.
Turner also will speak at the MLK Day Community Celebration starting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Center for Meeting and Learning at Lane Community College. The center is in Building 19 on LCC's main campus at 4000 E. 30th Ave. in Eugene. The celebration is co-sponsored by the UO and LCC with support from the Roberta Konnie Endowment Fund.
On Jan. 18, the Office of the Dean of Students welcomes Jonathan P. Higgins as the keynote speaker at its MLK Reception, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the EMU ballroom. The reception will include several UO speakers, and refreshments will be served. Higgins has more than 10 years of experience in education, social justice and grassroots movements and lectures all over the country on issues centered on people of color, LGBTQ storytelling and marginalized communities.
Wrapping up the week will be Holden Center’s MLK Day of Service on Jan. 20. Students are invited to participate in projects to benefit the communities of Eugene and Springfield. Project shifts — typically lasting two to three hours — will run throughout the day. Transportation will be provided, and snacks will be available. Pre-registration is required.
—By Colleen Schlonga, University Communications