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University plans fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration for Jan. 17-29


BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 7, 2009 – Virginia Tech has planned its annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration for Jan. 17-29.

The events scheduled for the celebration are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

The celebration begins Sunday, Jan. 17, at 3 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1301 Gladewood Drive, NW, Blacksburg, Va. with the NAACP Community Celebration honoring the life of King. Rev. Glenn L. Orr of St. Paul AME Church in Blacksburg and president of the Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County Branch of NAACP will be the keynote speaker. For more information, contact Debra Travis at (540) 382-6751.

The Martin Luther King Jr. community breakfast is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 18, from 9 to 10 a.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom in Squires Student Center. This event is free, but registration is required. Registration is available online. For more information, contact the Office for Equity and Inclusion at (540) 231-7500.

Cornel West, the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University, is the keynote speaker of the university’s fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. He will speak Monday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. in Burruss Hall Auditorium.

Tickets for this event are free and will be available Nov. 30 at the University Unions and Student Activities ticket office in Squires Student Center. Ticket office hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Questions concerning this event should be directed to the Office for Equity and Inclusion at (540) 231-7500.

The Center for Africana Studies and Race and Social Policy Research will conduct a panel discussion on the subject of The Public Intellectual, Tuesday, Jan. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Graduate Life Center Auditorium. The panel discussion will be facilitated by Ellington Graves. For more information contact Silvia Ramos-Cotton at (540) 231-7500.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will sponsor the Alpha Phi Alpha Student Cultural Showcase Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Haymarket Theatre in Squires Student Center. This event will feature various one-act performances. For more information, contact Eric King.

The schedule of events will conclude with the 13th Annual Diversity Summit, Friday, Jan. 29, from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom in Squires Student Center. The Diversity Summit, which is sponsored by the Commission on Equal Opportunity, the Student Government Association, and the Alliance for Concerned Students is free, but registration is recommended. For additional information, contact Ross Edmonds.

Community service projects are planned throughout the celebration. The Daycare Facelift Project is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Teams are being formed to carry out a variety of tasks for improvements to the chosen daycare facilities. Contact Karen Gilbert for more information.

The Love by Choice Project sponsored by the Blacksburg Christian Fellowship Church, is also scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and it involves volunteers providing assistance to families providing foster care to children in the area. Volunteers will complete projects that meet the needs of children in the family’s home. Contact Karen Gilbert for more information.

The Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Virginia Tech is coordinated by the Office for Equity and Inclusion, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County Chapter of the NAACP, and the University Martin Luther King Jr. Committee.

The celebration is supported by several campus and community organizations including the Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships, VT-ENGAGE, the Center for Africana Studies and Race and Social Policy Research, Division of Student Affairs, Multicultural Programs and Services, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and University Development.

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