Agriculture News

January 11, 2018

Purdue’s Diversity Awareness Week highlights King’s lasting influence

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A documentary about Palestine, talks about race and poverty, and a “Family Feud”-style competition are among the highlights of the 7th annual Diversity Awareness Week hosted by Purdue University’s Diversity Action Team in Agriculture.

This year’s program in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. runs Jan. 16-19 and highlights the continuing influences of the civil rights activist decades after he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, said Myron McClure, assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Programs for the Purdue College of Agriculture.

 “We’re exploring the many ways his influence continues to have an impact around the world,” McClure said. “For instance, many people don’t realize his Food Stamp Act of 1964 which had a huge impact in the lives of many impoverished people throughout the country. Having the right to vote doesn’t mean much unless we have programs designed to feed people who are going hungry.”

“It’s important to tell his story, but it’s also important to show that his legacy is continuing,” McClure added.

Highlights of the 2018 Diversity Week include:

* “AL HELM: Martin Luther King in Palestine,” a critically acclaimed documentary about how King’s legacy for nonviolent protest is resonating throughout war-torn Palestine, will be shown Jan. 16, noon-1:30 p.m., in Pfendler Hall, Room 241. A brown bag lunch is suggested; snacks and water will be provided.

* “Let’s Talk About Race” workshops presented by Fernando Burga, assistant professor in urban and regional planning at the University of Minnesota, and Eriks Dunens, a statewide Extension educator in leadership and civic engagement with the University of Minnesota, will be offered Jan. 17, 10-11:30 a.m., in Stewart Center Room 314, and 2-3:30 p.m. in the Wilmeth Active Learning Center, Room 1132.

* The “MLK Jr. Influence on Poverty and Nutrition Education” panel discussion, featuring Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry; Amy Carter, Indiana Institute for Working Families; and Maxine Thomas, RESULTS, will be held Jan. 18, noon-1:30 p.m., in Pfendler Hall, Room 241. A brown bag lunch is recommended.

* During the “Family Feud, Purdue Style” contest, teams consisting of faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students and alumni from the College of Agriculture and the College of Health and Human Sciences will compete to determine how much their peers know about King’s life. The program runs Jan. 19, noon-1:30 p.m., in Pfendler Hall, Room 241. Snacks and water will be provided.

McClure said the Diversity Awareness Week activities can be instrumental in providing people with a platform to engage in discussions about topics like race, civil rights and global issues.

“It’s important for people to understand that what King did through the civil rights movement wasn’t just about race. It was intended to serve everyone,” he said. “And everything we are fighting for today is not just a black and white thing. It’s to help people who are hungry and who are suffering from injustices. The influences of King and what he tried to accomplish in his lifetime are continuing today.”

For more information on Diversity Awareness Week, visit:

Writer: Cheri Frederick, 765-494-2406,

Source: Myron McClure, 765-494-8471,

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Shari Finnell, Manager/Media Relations and Public Information,  
Agriculture News Page

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