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K-State Today

December 21, 2016

A letter from interim Associate Provost for Diversity Zelia Wiley

Submitted by Zelia Wiley

Dear colleagues,

Happy Holidays! I hope this finds all of you well as you start the holiday break.

Thanks to all who have made 2016 a successful year in the Office of Diversity. Through partnership and communication, we have been productive and able to work on challenging projects that have had rewarding outcomes giving true examples of lifelong learning. As we continue into the holiday seasons, let us be respectful to all cultures and religious celebrations.

When we return, we will be in the center of the Dr. Martin L. King Jr. universitywide and community observances of this most important man and his work. Please join me as I thank the Martin L. King Jr. Observance Committee for its efforts to produce an outstanding week for all to enjoy.

The committee has announced its lineup of events for the 2017 celebration. Every year's observance has its own unique character and this year is no exception. Our theme for this year is "Witnessing the Dream."

In 2016, the country experienced many situations that involved the political campaigns, immigration issues, gun violence, sexism, racism, homophobic issues and many other disquiets. It has been hurtful to many. With our theme, "Witnessing the Dream," we want all to see yourself in the dream and how you may have a impact whether as a student, faculty or staff in a positive way. We are the dream!

Our community celebration will begin on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, with the MLK Jr. Community Celebration. Hear and see the creative work of the finalist for the MLK Jr. Art and Writing contest. Share in the words and music of the civil rights movement and celebrate the life and impact of Martin Luther King Jr. The event will be from 2–4 p.m. at the Manhattan Fire Station Auditorium, 2000 Denison Ave., and I can proudly say that I will be the featured speaker at The MLK Jr. Community Celebration.

Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, would be Dr. Martin L. King Jr.'s 88th birthday. Celebration of this inspiring man will continue in the days that follow.

Monday, Jan. 16, 2017: Martin L. King Jr. holiday

8 a.m. — A prayer breakfast at Four Points by Sheraton, 530 Richards Drive.
It will include prayer, reflection and breakfast to start the King Holiday. Gretchen Eick, civil rights historian and the author of "Dissent in Wichita: the Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest" will speak. Space is limited and there will be a charge for breakfast buffet.

9 a.m. to noon — MLK Jr. Day of Service: Everybody can serve.
Staley School of Leadership Studies. Individuals and groups can preregister to volunteer. For more information or to volunteer, contact handson@k-state.edu

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017

1 p.m. — The Diversity Tea, hosted by K-State Polytechnic in Salina in the College Center Conference room. The Tea will feature "Dawn of Day: Stories from the Underground Railroad."

Monday, Jan. 23, 2017

5:30 p.m. — The 13th annual College of Agriculture Diversity Student Leader Reception in 137 Waters Hall.
We will enjoy the 13th annual College of Agriculture Diversity Student Leader Reception featuring Edward F. Honestly Jr., president and chief operating officer at Best Harvest Bakeries, Kansas City. The reception is co-sponsored by Cargill, the College of Agriculture and the Office of Diversity. It is hosted by the K-State Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences, or MANRRS, and the College of Agriculture. Refreshments will be served. We are so grateful to the College of Agriculture for this long-standing program targeting student leaders.

6:30 p.m. — Professional development resume critiques in 106 Waters Hall and a hot chocolate informative social in the Waters Hall lobby.
The Ag Student Council will host the critiques with Mary Ellen Barkley with the K-State Career Center and welcome back student groups. This promises to be an informational and enjoyable evening. Please join us!

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017

3:30 p.m. — The Commerce Bank Presidential Awards for Student and Faculty/Staff Reception at the K-State Alumni Center.
For more than 39 years Commerce Bank has buttressed these distinguished awards, which promote diversity. Thanks to Tom Giller and Commerce Bank for their continued support. We encourage the entire campus community to attend this reception and congratulate our award winners who have done so much to advance K-State diversity, to contribute to the success of historically underrepresented students, and to promote inclusive excellence.

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017

10:30 a.m. — The 18th annual Diversity Lecture in 1092 College of Business Administration Building.
The College of Business Administration will host speaker Manuel Fernandez, senior partner at KMPG, Dallas. We are very pleased to have this KMPG representative on our campus, and we commend the College of Business Administration for 18 years of outstanding diversity lectures.

Noon to 3 p.m. — Third annual Civil Rights Teach-In in the K-State Student Union courtyard.
Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the event will focus on the national, regional and campus civil rights issues related to race, gender and sexual orientation. Let us come together and share with each other how we witness the dream.

7 p.m. — MLK Jr. Lecture, candlelight vigil and hot chocolate social in the K and S Ballrooms of the K-State Student Union.
The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. hosts the annual lecture and vigil followed by a hot chocolate social sponsored by the Staley School of Leadership Studies. Representative Roderick Houston, 89th District, Wichita, will deliver the MLK Lecture. The Alpha's Candlelight Vigil is the oldest MLK observance program at K-State. King was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 

11:30 a.m. — The MLK Week Fellowship Luncheon in K-State Alumni Center Ballroom. Cost is $15.
This year's program will feature the documentary, "Black Tie White Tie: Every Family Has a Story Within the American Story." Black Tie White Tie — extrapolated themes taken from the book of the same title — focuses on three significant historical methodologies: oral history, public documents and material culture. The speaker Professor Lyle Gibson, will be on hand to introduce the film and to participate in a question-and-answer period after the film.

Friday, Jan. 27, 2017

12:30–1:45 p.m. — Social justice and diversity brown bag in the K-State Student Union.
The Faculty and Staff Affinity Network will have their annual brown bag. The Black Faculty and Staff Alliance, or BFSA, LGBTQ, the Indigenous Alliance and Alianza, invite members of their organizations and other K-State faculty and staff to bring their lunch and engage in a discussion about social justice and diversity at K-State.

2 p.m. — The Laying of the Wreaths Ceremony at the MLK Bust at Ahearn Hall.
The week's observance will conclude on Friday afternoon with laying of the wreaths at the MLK Bust. The Laying of the Wreaths Ceremony is always very beautiful and it gives us a moment to pause at the end of an eventful week to reflect and renew our witnessing of the dream.

Some events are subject to change. The official MLK Jr. calendar will be out early next year.

We hope you will join us for as many events as possible. Thanks again to the MLK committee. Let's make the 2017 MLK Observance Week a time of coming together and renewing our commitment to witnessing the dream.

Finally, it has been a productive year that I could not have accomplished in this interim role without you. Special thanks to my staff, Office of Provost and the College of Agriculture and all of you as we advance diversity. It is through partnerships and communication that K-State is on its way to even greater heights in 2017.

May all of you find joy and happiness during this season!

Zelia Wiley, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Provost for Diversity