King celebration promotes activism and equity throughout Salem community

A two-week series of events honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. begins Jan. 16 at Willamette University. This year’s theme is “Many Nations Invisible, With Liberty and Justice For Some.”

Highlights of the celebration include an interactive theatre performance by Alejandro Jimenez ’09, a presentation from social activist Dolores Huerta and the Fifth Annual Stride Toward Freedom run/walk fundraiser for the Salem Multicultural Institute.

Jimenez, a spoken word artist, will lead “Learn to be a Patriot” on Jan. 19. The event begins at 7 p.m. in Putnam University Center’s Cat Cavern, where students and audience members will use theatrical techniques to explore their interpretations of patriotism. The presentation is free and open to the public.

On Jan. 20, Huerta will speak on issues of social justice and public policy at Willamette’s Smith Auditorium. The event begins at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m.

Huerta is co-founder of United Farm Workers and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, through which she provides leadership development for the working poor, immigrants, women and youths.

Tickets cost $10 for the general public and are available at or by calling 503-581-2004. The event is sponsored by Willamette and the Salem Multicultural Institute. Ticket proceeds will benefit the World Beat Festival.

The Fifth Annual Stride Toward Freedom fundraiser takes place Jan. 21 at Brown Field, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Participants in the 5-kilometer run or 1-mile walk pay $15 to register in advance or $20 the day of the race. Register at the Putnam University Information Center or at The entry fee covers the cost of a T-shirt and post-race refreshments. Proceeds will benefit the Salem Multicultural Institute.

For a full list of campus and community activities celebrating King, visit the Office of Multicultural Affair's website or call 503-370-6265.