January 7, 2019

Purdue to observe, serve, celebrate life of Martin Luther King Jr.

The 150-year celebration kicks off 2019 on campus with the author who inspired the ‘The Butler’

Wil Haygood Wil Haygood (Photo/American Program Bureau)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Best-selling author, award-winning journalist and cultural historian Wil Haygood will deliver the keynote address for Purdue University’s celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the first Giant Leaps Series event in 2019.

The event, “The Enduring Vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” is free and open to the public and will take place at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22 in Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse. Haygood’s presentation is one of many events celebrating Purdue’s Sesquicentennial, 150 Years of Giant Leaps.

Haygood, who has family roots in the civil rights hotbed of Selma, Alabama, is a Pulitzer Prize nominee, Guggenheim fellow and National Endowment for the Humanities fellow. His lifelong curiosity about the civil rights era has led him to write about many people who lived and worked in King’s orbit and about the American South. He will discuss why King’s quest for social justice still endures, examining issues such as economic equality, voting rights, the criminal justice system and gender rights.

Haygood’s books have spanned from race politics in sports, to experiences of segregation within the U.S. public education system, to the enduring legacy of Thurgood Marshall. The author of eight books, Haygood’s works help people better understand the civil rights movement and the many people and events that shaped the national identity, common values and rich history of all Americans today.

Haygood’s talent for seeking out good stories comes from his background as a journalist for The Washington Post and Boston Globe, where we worked for 30 years as a national and foreign correspondent. He has covered iconic events such as Nelson Mandela’s release from prison after 27 years, the ascent of President Barack Obama and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The 2019 Dreamer Award will be presented prior to Haygood’s keynote address. This award recognizes an individual or organization within Purdue whose contributions embody King’s vision of service to others and furthers the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Purdue will host several other events as part of the celebration honoring the contributions and legacy of King. A partial listing of activities is below:

* Jan. 14. Noon to 1:30 p.m. at Pfendler Hall of Agriculture, Room 241. “Incognito,” a one-person play presented by Michael Fosberg, author and activist.

* Jan 15. 8:30 and 10 a.m. in Stewart Center 320; 1 and 2:30 p.m. at the Black Cultural Center. “American Culture, Corporate Culture, Ethnic Culture” workshops with Michael Fosberg, author and activist. For more information and to RSVP, visit purdue.ag/mlkworkshop2019.

* Jan. 16. 7 p.m. in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. Film screening of “The Butler” inspired by Haygood’s Washington Post article, “A Butler Well Served by This Election.” The movie stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey and John Cusack. History professor Cornelius Bynum will lead a facilitated discussion following the screening. Admission is free.

* Jan. 16. Noon at Pfendler Hall of Agriculture, Room 241. “Burmese Integration into America: A Panel Discussion” moderated by Amanda J. Dickson of International Programs in Agriculture.

* Jan. 17. Noon at Pfendler Hall of Agriculture, Room 241. Presentation of the film “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: A Historical Perspective.” Open post-event discussion following the screening of the film.

* January through February. Knoy Hall of Technology lobby. The Minority Technology Association will invite individuals to share their dreams and reflections of King’s “I Have a Dream” message on Purdue Polytechnic’s “dream wall.”

* Jan. 18. Noon at Pfendler Hall of Agriculture, Room 241. “$100,000 Pyramid … Purdue-style” featuring a live game show about King and the civil rights movement for faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students and alumni of the College of Agriculture vs. the College of Health and Human Sciences.

* Jan. 18. 7:30 p.m. at Temple Israel, 620 Cumberland Ave., West Lafayette. “MLK Sabbath: A multi-faith service honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Keynote speaker will be the Rev. Rodney Lynch of the Baptist Student Foundation at Purdue.

* Jan. 18. University Residences dining courts and Purdue Memorial Union will serve free birthday cake during lunch on Jan. 18.

* Jan. 20. 4 p.m. at Greater Macedonia Church, 100 S. Murphy St., Lafayette. Ecumenical service, sponsored by the Pastors Alliance of Lafayette. 

* Jan. 21. MLK Jr. Day of Service, coordinated by Vanessa Pacheco, Purdue's coordinator for civic engagement. Day of Service activities are open to Purdue students, faculty, staff members and retirees. Volunteers will celebrate the legacy of King by serving local community service agencies in Tippecanoe County. Registration and more information is available online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/martin-luther-king-jr-day-of-service-2019-tickets-52551650401.

* Jan. 21. 11 a.m. at the Tippecanoe Public Library, 627 South St., Lafayette. Tribute to King.

* Jan. 22, noon at Wilmeth Active Learning Center. “MLK, Jr. & You” – an interactive workshop for change.

* Jan. 21. 1 p.m. at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, 102 S. 10th St., Lafayette. Sandra Bridges’ Southern Roots exhibition and poetry by BCC Haraka Writers.

* Jan. 22. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Purdue Polytechnic Institute/Knoy Hall of Technology lobby. “Techie Tuesday” – free doughnuts and hot chocolate when you share your dream.

*Jan. 22. 6 p.m. starting at the Black Cultural Center. A candlelight vigil and march to Loeb Playhouse, hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

* Jan. 23. 5 p.m. at the Black Cultural Center, 1100 Third St., West Lafayette. Kinfolk Dinner: A Reflection on Servant Leadership. RSVP at tinyurl.com/kinfolk2019

Writer: Matthew Oates, 765-496-2571, oatesw@purdue.edu 

Source: Renee Thomas, 765-494-3091, rathomas@purdue.edu

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