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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Dec. 7, 2017

Northwest honoring legacy of MLK with annual peace brunch, art exhibit, film screening, visit by ‘Smallest Freedom Fighter’

Updated: Jan. 2, 2018

Northwest Missouri State University will honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events next month, including a service day and its annual peace brunch to commemorate Martin Luther King Day.

Northwest students, staff and faculty are invited to participate in the service project from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at Lettuce Dream, a social enterprise and hydroponic greenhouse in Maryville that helps people with cognitive or developmental impairments build skills they can use in a working environment. Individuals interested in participating should sign up at the desk outside the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Student Engagement Center at the J.W. Jones Student Union or email Dr. Justin Mallett, Northwest’s director of diversity and inclusion, at by Friday, Jan. 12.

The seventh annual peace brunch is 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Jan. 15 in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom. A free hot breakfast buffet will be served, and the brunch will feature Carleane Hawkins, who is founder and principle consultant of The Camdy Group as well as a 1997 Northwest alumna, as its keynote speaker.

The week continues with presentations and activities centered on civil rights and social justice issues. All events are free and open to the public.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, on the first floor of the Administration Building, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will host an art exhibit, “Theory of Resistance,” in collaboration with Assistant Professor of Art Dr. Michael Faris. The exhibit will feature various art pieces representing the civil rights movement, and Faris will discuss his work.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, in the Student Union Boardroom, the Northwest community is invited to a screening and discussion of “Selma.” The film chronicles Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights with an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

The week’s activities conclude at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, in the Charles Johnson Theater with a presentation by Sheyann Webb-Christburg, the youngest participant to take part in the “Bloody Sunday” event at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Nicknamed “The Smallest Freedom Fighter” by Martin Luther King Jr., Webb-Christburg will share her story of marching alongside Martin Luther King Jr. at age 8. She will share her experiences of transitioning from a segregated school to an integrated school as well as her experiences during the Civil Rights Movement.  

Although Martin Luther King Jr. was born Jan. 15, 1929, his birthday has been observed as a national holiday, Martin Luther King Day, on the third Monday of each January since 1986.

In observance of the holiday, Northwest will not have classes Monday, Jan, 15, and all University offices are closed.

King’s effort to lead the American civil rights movement during the 1950s and ‘60s included the 1963 March on Washington. There, 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 April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week events at Northwest are sponsored by Northwest’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. For more information, contact Mallett at or 660.562.1317.

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