Several January events honor Martin Luther King Jr.


Contributed photo.

The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. will be commemorated nationally on Jan. 18. Iowa State also is honoring King with several events throughout January, which are free and open to the public.

King on campus

Long before the nation paused each January to honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and civil rights contributions, he spoke at Iowa State on Jan. 22, 1960, at the closing convocation of the Religion in Life Week program. According to an Ames Tribune article published the next day, approximately 1,500 people packed the Memorial Union's Great Hall to hear King's speech, "The Moral Challenges of a New Age." King also was scheduled to speak at a social sciences seminar prior to his Great Hall lecture, but a series of flight complications forced him to miss the engagement.

  • "Let Freedom Ring" carillon concert, Jan. 13 (11:50 a.m.-12:10 p.m., central campus). Iowa State carilloneur Tin-Shi Tam will perform a variety of selections, including spirituals, "Imagine" by John Lennon, and African-American anthems "Oh Freedom" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing." The performance also can be heard via live webcast.
  • Community birthday celebration, Jan. 18 (5:30 p.m., Ames Middle School, 3915 Mortenson Rd.).  Celebrate King's birthday with songs, stories and birthday cake. A program begins at 6:30 p.m.
  • Legacy convocation, Jan. 21 (3:30 p.m., Memorial Union, Sun Room). Learn how King's global vision of equality for all still resonates today. Alisha Gordon, a writer, teacher and scholar-activist, will present the keynote address. Gordon's work explores the intersection of faith and culture. She writes for several digital and print publications, including The Huffington Post and The Advancing One Community Awards also will be presented. 
  • Lecture, "Social Justice, Public Service and the Search for a Life That Matters," Wes Moore, Jan. 25 (6 p.m., MU Great Hall). Youth advocate Wes Moore struggled with academic and behavioral issues when he was young. Despite those trials, he graduated as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College (1998) and earned a bachelor's degree and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University (2001). He then became a Rhodes Scholar and studied international relations at Oxford University. Moore served as a paratrooper and captain with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan. He also was a White House fellow to Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice.