Community Invited to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

Willamette University will host a week of public events in January to honor the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The first public event is the Stride Toward Freedom 5K Run/Walk at 9 a.m. Jan 19 on Brown Field. The cost is $15, and proceeds benefit the Fabric of Cultures: Performance & Lecture Series at the Salem Multicultural Institute. Registration is available online at

Willamette will host a free lecture featuring Jamie Washington at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in Hudson Hall. The topic is "Our Work for the Next 40 Years: Realizing the Dream 2048." Washington is president and founder of the Washington Consulting Group, a multicultural organizational development firm in Baltimore, Md. He is a founding faculty member of the Social Justice Training Institute, a diversity development program for professionals.

A free civil rights film series will be available Jan. 22-24 in Montag Den. The series opens Jan. 22 with "Strange Fruit," which explores the history and legacy of a song that portrays the lynching of a black man in the American South. "The Beloved Community," shown Jan. 23, is about a city near Detroit struggling with a toxic petrochemical industry that could be leading to problems with women's pregnancies. The series ends Jan. 24 with "Coffee Date," which uses comedy to raise awareness of gay stereotypes. All films begin at 7 p.m. and are followed by discussions.

Also on Jan. 24 is a free showing of "Spirit to Spirit: Nikki Giovanni" at 11:30 a.m. in Cone Chapel. The film highlights the life and work of world-renowned poet and activist Giovanni, who was once crowned "The Princess of Black Poetry."

The week culminates with an MLK celebration featuring Nikki Giovanni and the Rainbow Dance Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 in Smith Auditorium. The theme is "Truth is on its Way." Tickets are $5 each, with a limit of four per person, and are available beginning at 9 a.m. Jan. 21 at the University Center Information Desk.

For information about any of these events, call (503) 370-6265 or visit