Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events

MLKThe third Monday of every year marks the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., and while some look forward to the three-day weekend, many in Corvallis are taking the time to celebrate, learn, and reflect on his impact and legacy. Oregon State University has an entire week of events and workshops designed to uphold Dr. King’s values of justice and service and apply them to today’s society. This list of events begins Saturday, Jan. 14 and extends through Friday, Jan. 20. All events open to the public are noted.

MLK Children’s Celebration
Friday, Jan. 13
Majestic Theatre, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The Corvallis Montessori School hosts a multicultural celebration, with a goal of spreading peace and tolerance to the greater Corvallis community and beyond. Montessori students will share in song, dance and narrative, alongside multicultural performances. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Saturday, Jan. 14

Students, faculty, staff, and their families have been invited to participate in 10 community projects that can accommodate about 300 volunteers. Projects include working at Heartland Humane Society, cleaning the Whiteside Theatre, landscaping Martin Luther King Jr. Park, a Food Packaging Party, and more. For more information, visit

35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Breakfast
Monday, Jan. 16
CH2M Hill Alumni Center 
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Open to OSU community members and invited guests, the annual breakfast is free and  features a legacy award ceremony to two community members for exemplary social justice services, a Keynote Address by Franchesca Ramsey, and a final Peace March to the SEC Plaza. For more information, visit

Keynote Address from Franchesca Ramsey
Monday, Jan. 16 • The LaSells Stewart Center, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Franchesca Ramsey, host of MTV News show Decoded, is delivering the keynote address for OSU’s celebration. She is a well-known YouTube personality, actress, comedian, and activist. This event is free and open to the public.

Celebration Peace March
Monday, Jan. 16 • The LaSells Stewart Center, 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.

The OSU Peace March is meant to provide an opportunity for solidarity and to promote non-violence. The march will end at the Student Experience Center Plaza. This event is free and open to the public.

Corvallis Celebration
Monday, Jan. 16
Corvallis High School,
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The City of Corvallis and the King Legacy Advisory Board is sponsoring the annual Corvallis celebratory event. The keynote speaker is Leticia Nieto, author of Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment. The Inner Strength Gospel Singers will perform as well. This event is free and open to the public.

If These Halls Could Talk Film Showing and Discussion
Tuesday, Jan. 17 • OSU Memorial Union, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

If These Halls Could Talk is a documentary from director Lee Mun Wah addressing the flight of students and faculty of color from university campuses across the country. The film models cross-cultural discussions of conflict on campuses and in communities. A discussion will follow the film.

Unpacking the Model Minority Myth
Tuesday, Jan. 17 • OSU Asian
& Pacific Cultural Center
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

This series of workshops focuses on addressing and deconstructing African American and Asian American/Pacific Islander stereotypes. Audio gathered will contribute to a radio documentary and short video series.

Multi-Faith Prayer Service
Tuesday, Jan. 17 • United Campus Ministry, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

This prayer service is open to the OSU community, and provides a space for solidarity across various faith and spiritual communities.

Creating Equitable Teaching and Learning Environments
Wednesday, Jan. 18
Valley Library, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

The director of the Social Justice Education Initiative is leading an interactive workshop to discuss potential parameters of equitable classrooms and learning environments. Participants will be able to address concerns about the intersection of success and equality.

The Untold Story: Brother Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – The Alpha Man
Wednesday, Jan. 18
Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Participants of this event will learn about Dr. King’s joining of the first Greek fraternity for African-American men.

Non-Violent Direct Action Panel and Training
Wednesday, Jan. 18
Centro Cultural César Chávez

A panel of professors and activists will discuss methods and impacts of key protesters and protests. After the panel, there will be a training session on non-violent direct action from Rising Tide.

History of Race Relations at OSU
Wednesday, Jan. 18
Valley Library, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
The spoken word artist Too Black will facilitate a workshop centered on OSU history and tying in experiences in South Africa. It will include a discussion on OSU’s anti-apartheid student activism, and time to create spoken word poetry.

Speaking Justice
Wednesday, Jan. 18• OSU Memorial Union Lounge
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Too Black, a spoken word artist who focuses on race, power, and society, will perform at OSU. He leads a college tour called “Education Redefined 101: Tips, Fees, and Degrees.” OSU community members are invited to attend and deliver poetry as well.

13th Film Viewing and Discussion
Thursday, Jan. 19 • Learning Innovation Center, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

13th is a documentary from Ava DuVernay focusing on the intersection of race, slavery, the criminal justice system, and mass incarceration in the United States. A discussion will follow the film.

Untold Stories: Histories of Students of Color at OSU
Thursday, Jan. 19 • OSU Memorial Union, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

This guided tour will take attendees around campus to learn about how students of color at OSU have incited positive change around campus.

The People Speak Read-in
Thursday, Jan. 19
Valley Library, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Howard Zinn’s book, The People Speak, has inspired OSU community members to read relevant pieces of literature, poetry, or speeches that address social injustices. Song and dance are also welcome at the event.

Imagining Oregon State
Friday, Jan. 20
OSU Student Experience Center

This event is meant for creative reflection on Dr. King’s legacy and how OSU can head into the future. 

By Regina Pieracci