Several Purdue events planned to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

January 9, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Several activities at Purdue University this month will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The 2013 celebration, with the theme The Fierce Urgency of Now: The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right, will begin Tuesday (Jan. 15) with Purdue Memorial Union dining services distributing free slices of birthday cake throughout the afternoon.

The events have been planned by the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Planning Committee, which was appointed by the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. Irwin Weiser, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Renee Thomas, director of Purdue's Black Cultural Center, co-chair the committee.

"We have assembled a variety of programs that we think will help people reflect on the life and urgency of Dr. King," Thomas said. "The offerings include lectures, service, learning opportunities, discussions, film and music. We are thrilled many academic colleges have also planned programs in tribute to Dr. King."

One of the highlights will be the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address, from Melissa V. Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC TV's "Melissa Harris-Perry," at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at Loeb Playhouse in Stewart Center.

Some other celebration highlights:

*Jan. 18-21. The Division of Diversity and Inclusion is sponsoring a cultural and justice tour of Washington, D.C., which will include visits to museums, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. monument, and a viewing of the Presidential Inauguration with peers from American University and Georgetown University.

* Jan. 20. 4 p.m. St. Thomas Aquinas Center, 535 W. State St., West Lafayette. Spiritual Celebration of the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Purdue University and the Inter-Religious Network communities will salute King with songs, readings, reflections and prayer. Purdue alumnus Dr. Wallace McLaughlin, President/CEO of the Fathers and Families, will deliver remarks.

* Jan. 21. MLK Day of Service, coordinated by Boiler Volunteer Network. Open to Purdue students, faculty, staff members and retirees. Volunteers will spend time with community service agencies in Tippecanoe County, including those that work with animals, children, seniors, health care and the homeless.  Registration is available on the BVN website.

*Jan. 21. University Residences will distribute birthday cupcakes in all the dining halls.

*Jan. 23 2 p.m. Fowler Hall.  College of Agriculture Special guest Speaker Natasha Bowen, Writer, Activist, Founder: Black Girl Farming Color of Food.  In addition to her lecture, a photo exhibition of farmers of color will be on exhibit in the Loeb Playhouse atrium. The colleges of Health and Human Sciences and Veterinary Medicine are co-sponsors with the College of Agriculture.

* Jan. 24. 7 p.m. Loeb Playhouse in Stewart Center. Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorative Address. Perry, the speaker, is a professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Anna Julie Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. She previously served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and Princeton University. She also has written two books, including “Sister Citizen:  Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America (Yale 2011) and "Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought," which won the 2005 W.E.B. Du Bois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the 2005 Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Her MSNBC TV show airs from 10 a.m. to noon EST on Saturdays and Sundays. A candlelight vigil sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity will proceed the lecture, at 6 p.m. participants will meet at the BCC and march to Loeb Playhouse.

* Jan. 24. The Purdue Dreamer Award and the Purdue Dream Teacher Award K-12 will be presented at the MLK keynote lecture. The Purdue Dreamer Award, established in 2004, is given annually to an individual or organization within the Purdue community to honor contributions that embody Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of service to others and that further the university's commitment to diversity. The Purdue Dream Teacher Award recognizes a K-12 teacher whose work embodies King Jr.'s message of unity and commitment to improving the lives of others.

*  Jan. 24. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Deans Auditorium in Pfendler Hall. Film and Dialogue. The College of Agriculture will host a screening of "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide." The movie, inspired by a book with the same title by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, was filmed in 10 nations and follows Kristof and celebrity activists on a journey to tell stories of inspiring and courageous individuals.

* Jan. 17-31. Clothing Drive. The Office of Multicultural Programs in the College of Pharmacy is planning a clothing and "Fruit of the Loom" drive. Collection boxes will be located throughout the Heine Pharmacy Building. The clothing will be donated to "It's My Closet" at Jefferson High School in Lafayette. All clothing of any size will be accepted. Sleepwear, clothing that can be worn to formal dances and unused underwear is especially appreciated. Students from the Multicultural Association of Pharmacy Students and SNPhA will deliver the clothes and volunteer at "It's My Closet" as a service learning project.

*Jan 17 -31.  College of Technology will exhibit a banner in tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and encourage students to share their Dreams with the Purdue community.

* Jan. 29. 7 p.m. Lawson 1142, The College of Science will host a screening of the documentary "BLACK PURDUE," followed by a facilitated discussion.

Information on all activities is available at

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711,

Source: Renee Thomas, 765-494-3091,

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2014-18 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Integrity Statement | Copyright Complaints | Brand Toolkit | Maintained by Marketing and Media

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact us at so we can help.