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Roberta Radovich
Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs

Last modified: Monday, January 11, 2010

IU Bloomington joins with community to celebrate Martin Luther King’s legacy

Jan. 11, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington will remember Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate his legacy with activities beginning today (Jan. 11) and running through Jan. 23. The university also will help present the community's celebration, which features the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Jan. 18.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Print-Quality Photo

Other events include a day of activities for elementary school children at the IU School of Education, an interfaith prayer service, a leadership breakfast and a unity summit. New this year is a series of films that will be presented in campus cultural centers and residence halls. With the exception of the breakfast, all IU events celebrating King's life are free and open to the public.

Classes are not held on the King holiday, and many IU Bloomington students use the day to honor King's legacy by volunteering in the community. "A Day On, Not a Day Off" -- a massive volunteer effort organized in cooperation with a number of nonprofit agencies, IU and the city of Bloomington -- will be all day on Jan. 18.

Also on Jan. 18, the IU School of Optometry, in collaboration with the Salvation Army, will provide eye exams and eye glasses to members of the Bloomington community who do not have access to vision care. Eligible patients are required to sign up with Salvation Army prior to the holiday.

"This year, the infectious positive spirit of countless individual acts of community service is acknowledged by our theme, 'Now is the Time: Making Real the Promise," IU Bloomington professors and MLK Day celebration co-chairs Kathy Smith and Martin McCrory said in a letter welcoming all to participate.

IU and its public television station WTIU are among the major sponsors of the city of Bloomington's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration. The Jan. 18 event featuring Jackson will begin at 7 p.m. in the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave. It is free and open to the public.

Jackson's appearance will be preceded by a reception at the First United Methodist Church, 219 E. 4th St., where winners of the Martin Luther King Commission Web Design Contest will be recognized. It also will feature musical performances by the IU African American Choral Ensemble and Margaret Chun, winner of the Talent Hunt Program.

For more information, go to, or contact Craig Brenner at 812-349-3471.

Other events centered around the holiday include:

  • An annual leadership breakfast that brings the IU community together to focus on King's ideals, beginning at 8 a.m. on Jan. 18 in Alumni Hall of the Indiana Memorial Union. Winners of IU's MLK Day essay contest and Building Bridges Award will be announced and receive special recognition. IU Dean of Students Harold "Pete" Goldsmith will offer opening remarks. Karen Hanson, IU executive vice president and provost on the Bloomington campus, will offer a statement on IU's continued commitment to celebrate the life and legacy of King. Edwin Marshall, IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, will provide closing remarks. An RSVP is required by January 14th to
  • An interfaith prayer service scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Jan. 18, in Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana Memorial Union. The program celebrates and increases awareness of various faith traditions through reflective prayers, music and the spoken word.
  • A Unity Summit in the Willkie Auditorium, 150 N. Rose Ave., Jan. 18, noon to 3:30 p.m. The event brings IU students together for a program that promotes civil dialogue and explores ways to improve the campus climate for all IU students.
  • The IU Bloomington School of Education's Seventh Annual King Activity Day with Children, Jan. 18, in the School of Education Atrium. Elementary-age students from the community will participate in a variety of educational activities, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information or to volunteer, contact Leana McClain at 812-856-8160 or
  • The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave., will present Jessica Care Moore, author of the best-selling poetry collections, The Words Don't Fit in My Mouth and The Alphabet Verses: The Ghetto, 6 p.m., Jan. 21 in the center's library.
  • An exhibit that showcases the progression of major American civil rights movements from the mid-20th century to the present will be on display at the Herman B Wells Library.
  • Jan. 11-20, a series of films which deal with civil and human rights, including "Who Killed Vincent Chin," "When the Levees Broke," "Mississippi Burning," "Remember the Titans," "Zulu Love Letter" and "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" will be shown across campus. For details, go to

Complete information about all IU King Day events is available at a special Web site at