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Martin Luther King Jr. Week kicks off university's Black History Month


BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 4, 2010 – Virginia Tech's celebration of Black History Month begins on Monday, Jan. 18 with the Martin Luther King Jr. community breakfast at 9 a.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom of the Squires Student Center.

The theme for this year’s Black History Month at Virginia Tech is “The History of Black Economic Empowerment.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Week serves as the unofficial kickoff to Black History Month. The week-long commemoration will begin with keynote speaker, Cornel West, on Monday, Jan. 18 in the Burruss Hall Auditorium at 6 p.m.; doors will open at 5:15 p.m.

Another featured Black History Month event is “The Real Coach Carter,” sponsored by the Black Organizations Council and Black Student Alliance on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Haymarket Theatre in the Squires Student Center. Ken Carter, whom the film “Coach Carter” was based on, will be speaking to the Virginia Tech community about his experience as a basketball coach and the importance of integrity, teamwork, and leadership to success both on and off the basketball court. A reception in his honor will be held in the university’s Black Cultural Center immediately following this event.

Virginia Tech will be celebrating Black History Month Monday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, Feb. 28. Other events and activities will take place during the celebration including keynote speakers, poetry readings, panel discussions, community outreach projects, and movies. The African American Leadership poster series, sponsored by the Leadership Development Office, Department of Student Activities, and Multicultural Programs and Services will also be on display on the third floor of the Squires Student Center throughout the month.

All Black History Month events and programs are free and open to the public. Some events may require registration in advance. For a full calendar of events, visit the Multicultural Programs website or contact Kristen Houston at (540) 231-6023.

Free parking is available around the Drillfield with a visitor’s pass from 5-8 p.m. No pass is necessary on the Drillfield after 8 p.m. or on weekends. Parking is also available in Perry Street Lot 1, 3, 4 and 6 near Prices Fork Road.

With a visitor’s pass, parking is available in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street, or the Shultz Hall Lot, located off Alumni Drive near the North Main Street campus entrance. Parking meters within the Squires Lot will need to be paid. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center, located on Southgate Drive. After 5 p.m. no visitor pass is needed.

Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.

Written by Melanie Harris of Hampton, Va., a senior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.