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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Jan. 9, 2012

Northwest to celebrate legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with peace march, unity celebration

By Cynthia Creek, media assistant

Northwest Missouri State University will honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events next week, including a peace march from the University campus to the Nodaway County Courthouse in downtown Maryville.

“At Northwest, Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week is not only meant to remember Dr. King and his mission for civil rights, but also to remind us that it is up to each of us to continue to bring  justice, equality, peace and unity to our world,” said Steve Bryant, director of intercultural affairs. “My hope, through all of these events, is for participants to learn that each of us changes the world. In order to do so in a positive way we all must learn how we show up in the world and how we can make a positive difference.”

The University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week begins Monday, Jan. 16, with a Peace Brunch at 11 a.m. in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom. The brunch will include a breakfast buffet for $4 and coincide with a student panel discussing themes of peace, justice, equality and unity. Individuals interested in attending should sign up at any residence hall front desk or in the Intercultural and International Center (IIC), located on the second floor of the Student Union, by 5 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 12.

The Peace March begins at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, in the Student Union Ballroom. Participants will march from the University campus to the steps of the Nodaway County Courthouse. The march will conclude on the steps of the courthouse with speakers and a proclamation.

Also Monday, Jan. 16, members of the Northwest community are invited to volunteer at a local nursing home. Participants should meet at the IIC at 2:45 p.m. to participate in the service project.

A Unity Celebration will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, in the Student Union Ballroom. Members of the Northwest and Maryville communities are invited to perform poetry, songs and dances promoting the themes of peace, justice, equality and unity. Patrons are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or monetary donations. Individuals or groups interested in performing should contact the IIC by 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12.

Throughout the week, “I Have a Dream” boards will be located across the campus. The “I Have a Dream” boards will highlight Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream" speech, and Northwest students and employees are invited to write their own dreams on the boards.

King was a Baptist minister who helped lead the American civil rights movement during the 1950s and '60s. He is remembered for leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott and helping found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, which dramatically raised public consciousness about civil rights and established King as a world figure. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.

Although King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, his birthday has been observed as a national holiday on the third Monday of each January since 1986. In observance of the holiday, Northwest will not have classes Monday, and all University offices will be closed.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week events are sponsored by the offices of Intercultural Affairs, Volunteer Service Learning and Civic Engagement, and Campus Activities. For more information, contact Bryant at or 660.562.1517.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468