MLK Jr. celebration opens Jan. 18

The Iowa State and Ames communities will continue annual celebrations of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through virtual events in January and February. 

Iowa State's spring semester begins Monday, Jan. 25, but the annual MLK Jr. Legacy Series begins a week prior on the holiday. The MLK Jr. community birthday celebration will take place 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, on the Ames/Story County MLK Celebration Facebook page as well as on YouTube.

Wayne Clinton, longtime Ames resident, retired teacher and coach, will serve as the keynote speaker. The Ames Human Relations Commission will present its annual Humanitarian Award.

An ISU carillon concert honoring King will take place from 11:50 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8. Carillonneur Tin-Shi Tam will play hymns and spirituals.

The MLK Jr. Legacy Series keynote this year will be delivered by Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize winner, National Humanities Medal recipient and author of bestsellers "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents" and "The Warmth of Other Suns." The convocation, "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents," will begin at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, on WebEx.

Wilkerson captivates audiences with the universal human story of migration and reinvention, as well as the unseen hierarchies that have divided the United States, in order to find a way to transcend them. She has become an impassioned voice for demonstrating how history can help us understand ourselves, our country and our current era of upheaval.

All events are free and open to the public. More information about ISU lectures is online or call 515-294-9934.