Events Planned for LSU’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration Week

01/13/2014 01:34 PM

BATON ROUGE – The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration highlights and memorializes the work, accomplishments, and legacy of one of the greatest Civil Rights and African American leaders in modern history. The celebration, organized by a student-led committee, conceptualizes and executes a series of events to educate the LSU and greater Baton Rouge community on the importance of actualizing King’s ideals of social justice, non-violence, education and service.

LSU will have a number of events on campus and around Baton Rouge in celebration of the life and message of King. For students, faculty, staff and community members participating in events, please use tag #LSUMLK14 for your photos on social media, especially on Twitter and Instagram.

The 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration is coordinated by the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee. For more information contact the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs at 225-578-4339, or visit

The following is a list of events taking place this year:

MLK Day of Service
The 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration will begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 20, with “MLK Day of Service,” a volunteer event for LSU and Baton Rouge community members. There will be around 200 registered volunteers from LSU’s students, faculty and administrators, as well as volunteers from Shell Company, Sherwin Williams, CPEX, Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful, and other community members that will join efforts to revitalize historic streets of Baton Rouge.

In addition, volunteers will participate in the installation of a new community identity project in Old South Baton Rouge.  A new initiative, Community Dreaming: Identity through the Arts, is beginning to take shape in the form of dozens of photographic portraits of young people in the neighborhood. Students from three area schools – Polk Elementary, McKinley Middle and McKinley High School – have had their portraits taken by local photographers and fellow students, as a creative activity that relates to identity, emotion, expression, and community.

Beginning with the MLK Day of Service, oversized prints of dozens of the local youth will be installed along the Thomas H. Delpit Drive corridor. These new works of public art will remain on view through the spring. The portraits will also look out to the site of the upcoming Downtown Greenway and improved Expressway Park, scheduled to begin in early 2014. When completed, the Greenway and Expressway Park are expected to enhance recreation, sidewalk amenities, and green spaces in Old South Baton Rouge, connecting the neighborhood to seven BREC parks, downtown Baton Rouge and the levee walkway.

“It’s very exciting to see the arts and creative identity lead the way, as other investments are made in and around Old South Baton Rouge,” said Eric Holowacz, CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. “We hope that others in the Capital Region will come have a look, and then help the community dream, celebrate, and express itself through the arts.”

The Old South Baton Rouge Community Dreaming: Identity Through the Arts program has been made possible through a partnership between the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, Center for Planning Excellence and BREC. This project is the first in a series of creative placemaking projects designed to engage neighborhood residents, creative professionals and community leaders, and help build awareness, identity and a sense of place throughout Old South Baton Rouge.

MLK Candlelight Vigil
Following the MLK Day of Service, a candlelight vigil and march, sponsored by National Pan-Hellenic Council at LSU, will be held to observe the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. The candlelight vigil will begin at 6 p.m. with a short program at the LSU Memorial Tower in honor and remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work and contribution.    

MLK Food Drive
The Office of Multicultural Affairs has partnered with the LSU Food Pantry for a food drive during the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration. From Jan. 20-24, LSU students will be able to donate non-perishable items to help support the food drive curated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The mission of the LSU Food Pantry is to end hunger and build community by providing non-perishable goods to students in need at no cost to the student. All students interested in donating will be able to drop off donations in Room 335 in the Student Union and on MLK Performing Arts Night. For more information on the LSU Food Pantry, visit

MLK Performing Arts Night
The MLK Performing Arts Night will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, in the Royal Cotillion Ballroom in the LSU Student Union. The MLK Performing Arts Night, which is free and open to the public, allows LSU students to celebrate the life and legacy of King through poetry, dance and musical expression.

MLK Commemorative Celebration
The signature program for MLK Celebration is the MLK and BHM Commemorative Celebration, which will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, at the Lod Cook Alumni Conference Center. The MLK and BHM Commemorative Celebration is free and open to the public.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee and the Black History Month Committee will host professor, author, Civil and Women’s Rights activist and social commentator Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw as the keynote speaker for the celebration. Crenshaw is executive director of the African American Policy Forum and professor of law at UCLA and Columbia Law School. She writes about civil rights, black feminist legal theory, race, racism and the law. She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Workshop and the co-editor of a volume titled, “Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement.”

Crenshaw has lectured nationally and internationally on race matters and on “intersectionality,” a concept she coined to capture the multidimensional dynamics of discrimination. Her work was cited in the drafting of the South African Constitution. Crenshaw has lectured throughout the world, addressing audiences in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. In 1996, she co-founded the African American Policy Forum to highlight the centrality of gender and structural inequality in the discourse on racial justice.

Crenshaw has held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair for Latin America and the Fletcher Fellowship. She is currently a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences.

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014