Plans are under way for the 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Virginia Tech. 

This year’s celebration, Commemorating the March on Washington, D.C.: Leading Social Change 50 Years Later, is scheduled for the week of Jan. 20 to 26.

Events are geared toward honoring King’s legacy of service, education, and nonviolent social change. The list of events includes the popular poster and essay contests that are open to all area kindergarten through 12th-grade students, and will feature a new oratorical component for high school students.

“We chose a general theme this year,” said Adrien DeLoach, associate director in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, “so that the students could use their imaginations and go in many directions when planning their posters, essays, and oratorical pieces. We hope to encourage students to learn that King stood for addressing controversy with civility and embraced principles of civil disobedience much like Mahatma Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, and Ernest Hemingway, and we did not want to limit them to only a specific theme such as the Civil Rights Movement.”

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Events include:

  • Sunday, Jan. 20, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Schaeffer Memorial Baptist Church in Christiansburg, Va. The Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County branch of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) will present a program to bring together members of the community to honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Contact Debbie Travis for more information.
  • Monday, Jan. 21, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, area kindergarten through 12th-grade student winners of the Martin Luther King Jr. poster, essay, and oratorical contests and their families are invited to share brunch with university faculty, staff, students, and community members. This event is free, but registration is required after Dec. 17. Email or call 540-231-1403 for information.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 4 to 6 p.m., the public is invited to attend an art reception in Perspective Gallery in Squires Student Center that will feature the Martin Luther King Jr. poster and essay winners’ artwork. Refreshments will be served. Artwork will be displayed Jan. 22 through Feb. 16. Email or call 540-231-1403 for information.
  • Thursday, Jan. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Pamplin Multicultural Diversity Committee will sponsor the second annual Pamplin College of Business Diversity Jubilee and open house in the Pamplin Hall Atrium. The Diversity Jubliee will feature college-wide recognition of the ways in which multiple organizations, students, faculty, and staff enrich our environment by their contributions to diversity. Contact Robin Russell for  information.
  • Friday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre, the Center for the Arts and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion will sponsor a musical performance with violinist Diane Monroe in a program featuring her jazz quartet and vocalist Paul Jost. Drawing on the passionate music of the Civil Rights Movement, these extraordinary artists relive, revive, and refresh songs from Bob Dylan, Gil Scott Heron, Richie Havens, Joni Mitchell, Pete Seeger, Dr. Billy Taylor, and many others who contributed to the soundtrack of an era. Tickets are $20, $16 for seniors/faculty and staff, $10 for students and youth under 18, and are available through the Student Center and Activities ticket office in Squires Student Center or by phone at 540-231-5616. Contact the Center for the Arts, send an email, or call 540-231-1403 for information.
  • Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to participate in the annual Daycare Facelift Project sponsored by the VT Engage: The Community Learning Collaborative. This event utilizes student led teams to help revitalize the community through assisting local childcare centers with maintenance projects. Contact Whitney H. Johnson or call 540-231-0691 for information.

For a full schedule of events and additional information on how you can get involved please visit the Office or Diversity and Inclusion, send an email, or call 540-231-1403.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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