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K-State Today

January 25, 2016

A letter from interim associate vice provost for diversity Zelia Wiley: Martin L. King Jr. Observance Week

Submitted by Zelia Wiley

Greetings and happy 2016 to all!

It is that time again for K-State's observance of Dr. Martin L. King Jr.'s work and his contributions for equity for our world. This year's theme is "Never stop pursuing the Dream!" Thank you in advance for your support of our events this year. Most importantly, thanks to our observance week's committee and the Office of Diversity’s staff for organizing an eventful week.

Our celebration will begin Monday, Jan. 25:

Diversity Canvas Kickoff featuring announcements about the mixed media art competition. Participants' works will be featured on art panels on the K-State Student Union construction walls. This exhibit will feature different diversity themes. We encourage all student artists to participate and submit their work by Feb. 12. For more information contact La Barbara Wigfall at lbjw@k-state.edu.

Diversity Tea, hosted by K-State Polytechnic in Salina, will feature author Bryon Smith who will present "The Message: Dr. King Speaks to Hip Hop" from 2-3 p.m. in the College Center Cafeteria.

The 12th annual College of Agriculture Diversity Student Leader Program will feature Freddie L. Richards Sr. professor of agriculture from Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas. Richards will speak at 5:30 p.m. in 137 Waters Hall with a reception to follow.

Tuesday, Jan. 26, events:

The Student Leader Diversity Conversation will be from 7–8 a.m. in the Tadtman Boardroom of the Alumni Center, which has been designed to facilitate communication among our various student organizations.

The Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Presidential Awards Reception will start at 3:30 p.m. at the K-State Alumni Center. Please join us as we celebrate our recipients with a reception and recognition for the efforts to advance K-State diversity, contribute to the success of historically underrepresented students, and promote inclusive excellence. We are grateful to Tom Giller and Commerce Bank for their continued support of these awards for over 37 years.

Wednesday, Jan. 27, events:

The College of Business Administration will host its 17th annual Diversity Lecture at 10:30 a.m. in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union. This year's speaker will be Michael Gonzales, leader of corporate diversity and inclusion at Hallmark.

The College of Arts & Sciences will conduct its second Civil Rights Teach-In from noon to 2 p.m. in the Town Hall of Leadership Studies. Faculty members from the college will lead table discussions and facilitate meaningful dialogues on the pressing social issues of today. Participants will be free to come and go as they please, as well as to sit in on as many different discussions.

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will host its annual MLK Lecture and Candlelight Vigil followed by a hot chocolate social sponsored by the Staley School of Leadership Studies. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Union's Forum Hall. Timothy Askew, English professor from Clark Atlanta University, will deliver the MLK lecture, "Cultural Hegemony and African American Patriotism: An Analysis of the Song, 'Lift Every Voice and Sing.'" The Alpha’s Candlelight Vigil is the oldest MLK observance program at K-State.

Thursday, Jan. 28, events:

The Civil Rights Luncheon will be in the Alumni Center Ballroom. This year’s program will feature the documentary, "Freedom Seekers: Stories from the Western Underground Railroad." The filmmaker, Gary Jenkins, will introduce the film and participate in a question-and-answer period after the film. The doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the program will start at 11:45 a.m. Luncheon attendees are encouraged to make their reservations by Jan. 25. This form asks for your name, department and contact information for billing.

The Beach Museum will present "Hard Truths Revisited in the Work of Two African American Artists" at 5:30 p.m. in the UMB Theatre at the Beach Museum. The program will feature Julian Bond's taped remarks at the Hard Truths exhibit at the Minneapolis Museum of Arts and the work of Thornton Dial. Attendees will be given an update on the Gordon Parks Digital Humanities Project. Leaders from K-State’s Black Student Union will comment and lead the audience discussion.

We will conclude the week with two events on Friday, Jan. 29.

The Black Faculty and Staff Alliance and Alianza will host their annual brown bag from 12:30–1:45 p.m. in the Purple Pride Room of the Alumni Center. The two groups will discuss contemporary social justice issues and how they can work even better together to advance social justice on our campus.

Later that afternoon, we will have the annual "Laying of the Wreaths" Ceremony at the MLK Bust at 2 p.m. We are grateful to the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President, the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Human Ecology, the Division of Communications and Marketing, MANRRS, and United Black Voices for providing wreaths. This ceremony is always very beautiful and it gives us a moment to pause at the end of an eventful week to reflect and recommit.

Again, I would like to thank all of you in advance who have supported our observance week. We could not have done this without you. Also, thank you for allowing me to take part in this joyous celebration as the interim associate vice provost for diversity. Enjoy the week!

Zelia Wiley