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Ferris Set to Begin 2011 with Annual MLK Celebration

pictureLeadership in a New Era” is the theme as Ferris State University sets up for the 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

This year, the MLK Celebration Planning Committee has organized a series of events that are not only designed to recognize King and his contributions, but also to place a spotlight on how leaders emerge – a message geared toward the student population at Ferris.

MLK Celebration activities commence Monday, Jan. 17 and run through Wednesday, Jan. 19. A major highlight will be the keynote address delivered by Columbia University associate professor and activist Marc Lamont Hill on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Rankin Student Center Dome Room. Hill’s presentation is entitled, “Building Community in an Hour of Chaos: Progress In the Age of Obama.”

In addition to Hill’s keynote address, the MLK Celebration includes a series of events designed to promote deeper thinking about King’s dream, where we are as a society and the need for leaders to continue to emerge, according to Michael Wade, assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services and co-chair of the MLK Celebration Planning Committee.

“The 2011 MLK Celebration Planning Committee aims, through featured MLK activities on campus, to educate the university community through a reflection on the past, and a significant examination of issues presently taking place in society,” Wade said. “The overall goal is to provide an opportunity for collaboration, learning and diversity.”

The celebration begins Monday, Jan. 17 as the Tunnel of Oppression exhibit opens in rooms 125 and 127 of Rankin. The Tunnel of Oppression will be open Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. along with the MLK Leaders Taking Action display in the Atrium. The faculty/staff in-service runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The annual MLK Freedom March takes place from 3 to 4 p.m. and will begin from the IRC corridor with the end point being the Rankin lobby. The annual MLK Student Tribute begins at 6 p.m.

Tuesday, activities include a discussion entitled “Developing a New Era of Leadership,” in Rankin 252 beginning at 11 a.m. The day concludes with Hill’s keynote presentation in the Dome Room.

“With this year’s theme ‘Leadership in a New Era,’ many of the Dr. King Celebration activities this year will focus on developing and spotlighting emerging student leadership in the spirit of Dr. King,” Wade said.

Wednesday, activities include the MLK “Food For Thought” Soul Dinner and Activity in The Rock Café from 4 to 7 p.m.

“The Office of Multicultural Student Services strives to continue to make relevant the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through this annual celebration,” Wade said. “Each year serves as a new opportunity to reach all individuals who are a part of our University community.”

Event sponsors include OMSS, Office of the President, Entertainment Unlimited, vice president for Administration and Finance, vice president for Advancement and Marketing, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Political Engagement Project, Office of Equal Opportunity and Governmental Relations and General Counsel, College of Arts, Sciences and Education, Michigan College of Optometry, College of Pharmacy, Dean of Student Life, Social Sciences Department, University College, College of Professional and Technological Studies, College of Allied Health Sciences, College of Education and Human Services, College of Engineering Technology, College of Business, and 2011 MLK Celebration Planning Committee.

“The MLK Celebration is one of my favorite weeks on campus. It’s something I have gone to or been involved with since my freshman year,” said Morgan Toms, president of Student Government at Ferris, also an event sponsor. “It seems that almost every office on campus contributes in some way and (Registered Student Organizations) from all different backgrounds participate in and attend the events.

“It is a very special and unique event that can achieve something like that. Everyone that attends is impacted in some way,” she added.

For more information, or if you need special accommodations to attend the events, call OMSS at (231) 591-2617 a minimum of 72 hours in advance.