Events planned to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

January 21, 2014  

Julian Bond

Julian Bond 
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Several activities at Purdue this month will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The 2014 celebration will feature the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address at 7 p.m. today (Jan. 21) in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse. Julian Bond, a former chairman of the NAACP and a leader of the American civil rights movement, will deliver the keynote speech.

Bond helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1960 and organized voting drives and student protests against segregation in public facilities in Georgia.

After graduation from Morehouse, Bond helped start the Southern Poverty Law Center, serving as the organization's president from 1971-79. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives but white members of the House refused to seat him because of his opposition to the Vietnam War until the U.S. Supreme Court intervened. He served in the Georgia House from 1965-75 and served six terms in the Georgia Senate, from 1975-86.

Co-chairman of an insurgent delegation to the 1968 national Democratic Convention, he became the first African American to be nominated for vice president. He withdrew his name from the ballot because he was too young to serve.

Bond is chairman emeritus of the NAACP and appears frequently on America's Black Forum, the oldest black-owned show in television syndication. He has written a nationally distributed newspaper column and narrated the award-winning documentaries "A Time for Justice" and "Eyes on the Prize."    

Purdue's Dreamer Award also will be presented during the convocation. The Dreamer Award, established in 2004, is given annually to an individual or organization within the Purdue community to honor contributions that embody King's vision of service to others and that further the University’s commitment to diversity.

Other commemorative events include:

* Today -- A candlelight vigil in memory of King will begin at 6 p.m. at the Black Cultural Center and end at Loeb Playhouse. A hot chocolate social will follow the conclusion of the event, which is sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

* Thursday (Jan. 23) -- A showing of the documentary "A Place at the Table" will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. in Pfendler Hall, Room 241 (Deans Auditorium). Kimber Nicoletti, program director of Multicultural Efforts to End Sexual Assault in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education, will lead an interactive discussion after the film. Attendees should bring a lunch and one food item to give away. Dessert and drinks will be provided.

* Jan. 30 (Th) -- The MLK Awards Reception will be held at 4 p.m. in the Anniversary Room of Purdue Memorial Union. Awards will be presented to members of the Purdue community who have aided in creating an inclusive community and who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and fostering inclusiveness and appreciation of differences. Students will share reflections and speech excerpts of King. The reception is open to the public.

* Ongoing -- Drawing upon Purdue University Libraries' collections and services, faculty and staff will create and mount displays in libraries across campus on a variety of topics related to King's legacy. A list of the displays is here.

Information on all activities can be found at

Writer: Hannah Harper,

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