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2021 MLK Day Celebration

Monday, January 18, 2021

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Historically, MLK Day has been a day of service and reflection at Northern Kentucky University. The traditional event featured service outreach and a ceremony that was too large to facilitate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to keeping the campus safe so this year's virtual event will focus on education and open dialogue. However, you are still encouraged to give back on this day in any manner that you personally feel safe (learn more below). 
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January 18, 2021 @ 10 a.m.


In order to participate in the virtual day, you must register for the event by Thursday, January 14. You will then receive all of the webinar information.  

Register by Jan. 14

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Alonzo Jones

Keynote

Alonzo Jones

Race, Rationalization, and Humanness: A look into the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King

The greatest injustice we do to our historical leaders is to place them into the realm of the untouchable. Too often, we deify the personality and miss the opportunity to accept their humanness as an example of how to think about and engage a highly diverse society and world.

The program chronicles Dr. King's life while in college, his journey to Montgomery, the passing of the Civil Rights Act, and the five-year period after the ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ concluding with his assassination, April 4, 1968. The program explores themes and messages still relevant to today's college students and future leaders.

The aim of this presentation is to support university goals around inclusion, affinity, civility, and critical thinking among a diverse demographic student body and is a perfect fit for any community program for Black History Month.

Learn more about Alonzo Jones

Alonzo Jones

Born to a French white mother and Creole African American military father, Alonzo Jones -also known simply as AJ- often says that he grew up and lived in the grey. As a bi-racial, first-generation, kid growing up in the 70's and 80's entering and exiting different educational institutions, communities, cultures, & countries, culture and identity became tremendously important in shaping and developing his professional pathway and research areas. 

With over 25 years of experience working in higher education, AJ has a passion for working with students to help them achieve success. Focusing on Male Development, Black History Month,  Cultural Greek Organizations, and Student-Identity, AJ has worked with everyone from high schools, colleges & athletic programs to the NFL, community organizations & government municipalities. His approach to speaking is to provide audiences unheard perspectives on familiar topics through an engaging, interactive, and sometimes unorthodox delivery style. His programs are an extension of his own private thoughts and self-examination around identity, education, and fatherhood. 

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Special Events

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Text on image with MLK at right. Text overlay shown on page:

Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Celebration

Evening with the King
Friday, Jan. 15
6 p.m. // via Zoom (991 8019 9078)

Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest
Hosted by NKU Black Alumni Council
Saturday, Jan. 16
6 p.m. // via Zoom (925 5890 5665)

Church Service and Soul Food
Sunday, Jan. 17
10:30 a.m. // SU Ballroom
(limited 50 participants)


 
Social image from Campus Rec Yoga Day
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Campus Rec: MLK Day Yoga

Celebrate MLK Day with this calming, yet challenging mind-body class led by our instructor Maiya! Create a sense of physical and mental awareness as part of a day to commemorate Dr. King's contributions. The Zoom Link will be sent to you upon registration.

Register Now

CANVA Art Contest
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CANVA Art Competition

  • Show how your student organizationhonors or fits with the mission of Dr. MartinLuther King Jr. through virtual artwork!
  • Artwork can be made through an online arttool such as Canva, or can be madephysically and converted to a digital format.
  • Submissions are due by noon on Thursday(1/14), and should be emailed tosga@nku.edu
  • Voting will occur over the weekend (moreinfo to come) and winners will be featuredat the MLK day of service and on SGA'ssocial media!

Email Questions

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. RHO Gamma Chapter Presents: Martin Luther King Jr. Candle Light Vigil
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Martin Luther King Jr. Candle Light Vigil

Presented by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. RHO Gamma Chapter. This event will be held Monday, January 18 at 7:06 p.m. at Norse Commons Circle

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Honoring MLK Through Service

Northern Kentucky University has a strong history of providing service to our local community.  In 2019, NKU students logged over 25,000 hours of community service which equated to over a half a million dollars of local economic impact.  For the last three years, Dr. Vaidya enacted that the actual MLK Day become a call to action for our faculty, staff, students and alumni.  NKU believes that this is a day on, not a day off through service!  We serve to not only support our local community but to honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  For the last two years, over 1500 individuals have given back on this day.  We have served at over 40 different agencies, provided meals and blankets for the needy and helped complete numerous campus projects.  Due to Covid, MLK 2021 will focus on education and dialogue for the campus.  We look forward to MLK 2022 and return to serving our local community.
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We encourage you to donate socks and/or blankets to local shelters like the Women's Crisis Center or the Brighton Center. Both agencies are also in great need of personal care items. Below are address drop off locations for each organization but feel to help any organization!
Brighton Center
741 Central Avenue
Newport, KY 41071
Women's Crisis Center
835 Madison Avenue
Covington, KY 41011
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History of the Life of Dr. King

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The final speaker today is Martin Luther King Jr., head of the SCLC. He has a dream, he says. He urges the crowd to make it a reality, not tomorrow, but today, in "the fierce urgency of now."

On January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. is born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of a Baptist minister. King received a doctorate degree in theology and in 1955 helped organize the first major protest of the African-American civil rights movement: the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. Influenced by Mohandas Gandhi, he advocated civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance to segregation in the South. The peaceful protests he led throughout the American South were often met with violence, but King and his followers persisted, and the movement gained momentum.

A powerful orator, King appealed to Christian and American ideals and won growing support from the federal government and Northern whites. In 1963, Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph led the massive March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; the event’s grand finale was King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Two hundred and fifty thousand people gathered outside the Lincoln Memorial to hear the stirring speech. 

In 1964, the civil rights movement achieved two of its greatest successes: the ratification of the 24th Amendment, which abolished the poll tax, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public facilities. Later that year, King became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize (in 2014 Malala Yousafzai became the youngest to receive the prize at age 17). In the late 1960s, King openly criticized U.S. involvement in Vietnam and turned his efforts to winning economic rights for poor Americans. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.

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A group in attendance, including MLK, with President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. July 2, 1964 - President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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