Activism encouraged during Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at WU

A two-week series of events honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. begins Jan. 14 at Willamette University. This year’s theme is “I Have a Dream: 50 Years of Unrealized Dreams. Celebrate. Reflect. Take Action.”

Highlights of the celebration includes a showing of the documentary, “Harvest of Empire,” a presentation from civil rights activist Julian Bond and the Sixth Annual Stride Toward Freedom run/walk fundraiser for the Salem Multicultural Institute.

“Harvest of Empire” — showing in Willamette’s Ford Theater Jan. 16 — is based on the groundbreaking book by award-winning journalist Juan González. The film portrays the role U.S. economic and military interests played in triggering an unprecedented wave of migration to America. Admittance is free.

Bond — a former chairperson of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People — will speak about issues of social justice and the Civil Rights Movement Jan. 18. His talk begins in Smith Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m.

For the general public, tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door. They are available at or by calling 503-581-2004. Ticket proceeds will benefit the World Beat Festival.

The Sixth Annual Stride Toward Freedom fundraiser is taking place at Brown Field Jan. 19, 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.

The public and the WU community are encouraged to register for several of the celebratory events — including "The Game of Life" and "Community 101" — by visiting the Office of Multicultural Affairs' website. For more information, people may also call 503-370-6265.