January 11, 2021

Purdue releases schedule of events to celebrate legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University will offer several virtual events and a community food drive during the month of January to celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Andrew Young, former member of Congress, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, mayor of Atlanta and colleague of King, will be the keynote speaker for Purdue’s Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative lecture at 7 p.m. (ET) Jan. 21.

The event, which will be virtual, will be moderated by Julian Phillips, a Purdue alumnus who is an award-winning journalist, author, political analyst and advisor, and chef. He is a three-time Emmy Award winner and a recipient of an Edward R. Murrow Award. Phillips also has served on Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts and Discovery Park advisory boards.

Those interested in attending may visit the Pursuing Racial Justice Together website and register for the free virtual tickets and admission instructions. Deadline for registration is 3 p.m. the day of the event.

pantry-sites Purdue University will host a mobile food drive for the ACE Food Pantry as part of this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day observations. (Purdue University image)

‘The Gangsta Gardener’ – Jan. 18

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Purdue will host Ron Finley at 1 p.m. ET. Finley is known as “The Gangsta Gardener” who helped begin addressing food prisons and food deserts in South Central Los Angeles by planting vegetables in the curbside dirt next to his home. He was cited for gardening without a permit. He fought back and has continued sharing his story and vision on addressing food prisons and food deserts by creating dozens of community gardens in unused spaces around Los Angeles.

Vanessa Pacheco, Purdue’s coordinator for civic engagement and leadership development and ACE Campus Food Pantry advisor, will serve as moderator.

Those interested in attending may visit the Pursuing Racial Justice Together website and register for the free virtual tickets and admission instructions. Deadline for registration is 8 a.m. the day of the event.

ACE Campus Food Pantry food drive

In place of the traditional Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the ACE Campus Food Pantry is coordinating a food drive with Civic Engagement and Leadership Development; the Division of Diversity and Inclusion; Intercollegiate Athletics; Management and Professional Staff Advisory Committee (MaPSAC); Campus Support Staff Advisory Committee (CSSAC); Purdue Student Government; Purdue Graduate Student Government; Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life; and University Residences.

The food drive will take place Jan. 18-22. In order to follow Protect Purdue guidelines, anyone wanting to donate may do so by selecting a location from the options listed below, or by donating on behalf of a corresponding organization. The ACE Pantry van (recognizable by purple polka dots around the vehicle) will be parked outside of locations during the times listed, and items may be donated by walking or driving up to the van. Each donor will receive a small thank-you gift from ACE for their generosity.

* Jan. 18: 6-7 p.m. – Shreve/Earhart/Meredith/Meredith South residence halls; 7-8 p.m. – Tarkington/Wiley residence halls; 8-8:45 p.m. – Hawkins Residence Hall.

* Jan. 19: 1-2 p.m. – Hovde/Schleman halls; 2-3 p.m. – Stewart Center – Humanities, Social Sciences and Education Library; 3-4 p.m. – Herrick Labs; 6-7 p.m. – Hilltop/Cary Quad/Owen residence halls; 7-8 p.m. – McCutcheon/Harrison/Hillenbrand residence halls; 8-8:45 p.m. – Purdue Village/Aspire at Discovery Park.

* Jan. 20: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Mackey Arena; 1-4 p.m. – Krach Leadership Center; 6-7 p.m. – Black Cultural Center, Griffin South and Griffin North residence halls; 7-8 p.m. – Meredith South/First Street Towers residence halls.

* Jan. 21: 1-3 p.m. – Class of 1950 Lecture Hall; 3-4 p.m. – Purdue Graduate Student Center; 6-7 p.m. – Windsor/Honor College residence halls

* Jan. 22: 10-4 p.m. – Participating Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life locations.

ACE is an initiative that provides fresh produce, toiletries and a large selection of shelf-stable foods and snacks for Purdue students, faculty and staff so that they have the basic items they need to thrive while at Purdue. ACE has been entirely student-led since it opened its doors in August 2015 and now hosts more than 2,000 client visits a year on average. All items at ACE are free of charge to clients with a Purdue-issued identification card.

Protect Purdue Store

All proceeds from the Protect Purdue Store will benefit the ACE Food Pantry. These items are provided as part of the Protect Purdue Ambassador initiative — a group of students that helps promote a culture of safe behaviors surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The ambassadors have chosen the ACE Food Pantry to receive proceeds from these sales as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

‘And the Band Plays On’ Diversity Awareness Week events

The following events are sponsored by Purdue’s College of Agriculture and College of Health and Human Sciences. All events are virtual. Localized charity efforts will benefit the Hanna Community Center, which offers programs to support youth, seniors and minority health. Registration is available online.

* “John Lewis: Good Trouble” film screening, Jan. 25, noon-1:40 p.m. This virtual screening of director Dawn Porter’s acclaimed 2020 documentary about the late civil rights movement leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

* “Black Trans & Queer Leadership in Civil Rights,” Jan. 26, noon. A virtual panel of Black trans and queer advocates will connect historical achievements to contemporary aims and offer suggestions for people to engage in racial justice movements.

* “Due Process: Racial Justice in America’s Legal System,” Jan. 27, noon. This virtual roundtable will explore structural concerns within America’s criminal and legal systems and consider everyday ways to contribute to decriminalization and less punitive forms of accountability in our communities.

* “BIPOC Farmers in Sustainable Agriculture,” Jan. 28, noon. Farmers who are Black, Indigenous and people of color face challenges in equitable access to grow food while practicing environmental stewardship. Representatives from the College of Agriculture, Purdue Extension’s Urban Agriculture program and Purdue’s Center for Global Food Security will talk about these challenges.

* “Carrying the Movement Forward,” Jan. 29, noon. Panelists will discuss the experiences that galvanized them toward action in advocacy, issues they are engaging with right now and how platforms for advocacy and outreach are evolving.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Writer, media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496 (cell), oatesw@purdue.edu, @mo_oates
Sources: John Gates, jfgates@purdue.edu
Kate Walker, katewalker@purdue.edu

Renee Thomas, rathomas@purdue.edu  

Journalists visiting campus: Journalists should follow Protect Purdue protocols and the following guidelines:

  • Campus is open, but the number of people in spaces may be limited. We will be as accommodating as possible, but you may be asked to step out or report from another location.
  • To enable access, particularly to campus buildings, we recommend you contact the Purdue News Service media contact listed on the release to let them know the nature of the visit and where you will be visiting. A News Service representative can facilitate safe access and may escort you on campus.
  • Correctly wear face masks inside any campus building, and correctly wear face masks outdoors when social distancing of at least six feet is not possible.


Related news release:

Purdue announces keynote speaker for Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative lecture (Nov. 30, 2020)

Note to journalists: Journalists are invited to cover the events. Journalists can go online and secure a ticket. Registration for the Andrew Young event ends at 3 p.m. and Ron Finley at 8 a.m. on the event day. Journalists are allowed to record the first 10 minutes for use on broadcasts, but the recording cannot be posted online with web stories. All events are virtual – the speakers will not be on campus. For images of speakers and other media inquiries, visit the press website for the series. Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

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