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Last year, students remembered the works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a candlelight vigil. This year's celebration begins with a Day of Service.

LSU to Hold Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Events

BATON ROUGE - LSU will help remember Martin Luther King Jr. with the 2009 commemorative celebration "Standing Boldly: An Urgent Call for Collective Responsibility," beginning on Monday, Jan. 19, and ending on Thursday, Jan. 29.

The events of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration kicked off on Monday, Jan. 19, when members of the university community participated in a "Day of Service" to help revitalize several areas near campus and in the Old South Baton Rouge community. LSU students, student organizations, faculty, staff and administrators partnered with LSU Community University Partnership to aid the local community and promote volunteerism, one of King's fundamental principles.

The "Day of Service" included helping with capital improvement projects at Polk Elementary, Buchanan Elementary and at the Baton Rouge Battered Women's Shelter. Participants were afforded a hands-on opportunity to better their surrounding community while helping to celebrate and commemorate King's legacy of service.

On Friday, Jan. 23, esteemed scholar and civil rights activist Angela Davis will be the keynote speaker at the MLK Commemorative Celebration, which brings together LSU and the Greater Baton Rouge Community in celebration of the life and works of King. The celebration will take place beginning at 2 p.m. in the Lod Cook Alumni Center.

Davis, the author of eight books, has spent the past 15 years as a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. In recent years, she has focused her work on the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. Just the third woman ever placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List,” she spent 18 months in the Women's Detention Center in New York City during the early 1970s before being acquitted of all charges against her.

In addition to Davis’ address, the program will include a performance by the MLK Dance Ensemble. A reception will be held immediately after the program, allowing the entire community the opportunity to engage with Davis.

The MLK Performing Arts Night will be held on Thursday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m., in the LSU School of Music Recital Hall. King's impending legacy has long been associated with his means of creative expression as an orator, a Reverend and a civil rights activist. The MLK Performing Arts Night will allow students, faculty and staff to recreate the character of King through poetry, dance and musical expression. During the course of the evening, members of the LSU and Baton Rouge communities will be allowed to showcase their singing, dancing and lyrical talents. MLK Performing Arts Night has quickly become one of the most anticipated events of the MLK Celebration. Participants are encouraged to bring works that will celebrate the life and legacy of King.

The 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration is coordinated by the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee. The committee advisors include Chaunda Allen, director of the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs; Cerise Edmonds, coordinator of Cross-Cultural Affairs in the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs; Cassandra M. Jackson, con-current/summer provisional coordinator in the LSU Office of Undergraduate Admissions; and Clovier Torry, a director in the LSU Graduate School.

For more information contact the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs at 225-578-4338, or visit

Melissa Foley | Editor | Office of Communications & University Relations
January 2009