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Source: Myra Gordon, 785-532-6276,
Web site:
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415,

Monday, Jan. 4, 2010


MANHATTAN -- A candlelight vigil, documentary film about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and a laying of wreaths at King's campus memorial are among the many events taking place during Kansas State University's Martin Luther King Observance Week, Jan. 18-22.

The week is a celebration of the civil rights leader's legacy. This year's theme is "From the Balcony of Room 306," which is based on a documentary with the same name to be shown at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, in the K-State Student Union's Ballroom. Admission is free, though tickets must be reserved by e-mailing by Jan 15.

"We chose this theme because of recent revelations about K-State's connection with Dr. King at the very moment of his assassination," said Myra Gordon, K-State's associate provost for diversity and dual career development. "In the film, Rev. Billy Kyles talks about the events leading up to the King assassination. Though Kyles was only a few feet away on that ill-fated day, something related to K-State was even closer."

Gordon said those revelations will be shared after the film's showing.

Other activities planned for the week include:

* Monday, Jan. 18 – K-State's Community Service Project, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Manhattan Town Center. Volunteers are to meet at the mall to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a "day on, not a day off." Contact Laura Cline at 785-532-3670 for more information about volunteering. Special honors and tributes to King and a number of K-State firsts will take place at the men's basketball game against Texas in Bramlage Coliseum. The game starts at 8 p.m. and will be televised.

* Tuesday, Jan. 19 -- William White, director of global marketing for Johnson and Johnson Inc., will present "The Imperative of Diversity in Corporate America" at 11:30 a.m. for the Diversity Student Leaders Luncheon in the K-State Alumni Center. The Commerce Bank Presidential awards reception will be at 3:30 p.m., also at the Alumni Center. Deborah Muhwezi, senior in mass communications, and Robert Gomez, senior in elementary education, will receive the Commerce Bank Presidential Award for Enhancing Multiculturalism. Dawne Martin, the College of Business Administration's assistant to the dean for diversity, will receive the Commerce Bank Presidential Faculty/Staff Award for Distinguished Services to Historically Underrepresented Students. The awards recognize individual contributions to diversity at K-State and to helping multicultural students succeed.

* Wednesday, Jan. 20 -- Kiku Obata, a noted architect, will present "Transformation Through Design" at 4 p.m. in the Union's Little Theater. The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity will have a candlelight vigil and its annual observance program at 7 p.m. in the K-State Student Union's Forum Hall, followed by a hot chocolate reception at 8 p.m. in the hall's foyer.

* Friday, Jan. 22 -- The second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon for Diverse Faculty and Staff will be at noon in the Union's Flint Hills Room. Commemorative wreaths will be laid at the bust of King outside Ahearn Field House at 2 p.m.. The bust commemorates King's Jan. 19, 1968, speech at K-State.

More details about activities during K-State's Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Week are available at