2004 Martin Luther King Day Celebration Includes Community Gathering on Jan. 10 and March on Jan. 19

The Fort Collins, Loveland and Colorado State University communities will unite for activities in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 10 and Jan. 19. Events on Jan. 19 will include a one-mile march from the Oval to Old Town, with programs at the Colorado State University Bookstore and the Durrel Center before the march, and a program that evening in Loveland. On Jan. 10, Colorado State University Apartment Life will host a gathering. The theme of this year’s celebration is "Courage to Build a Community of Peace."

Before the march on Jan. 19, students can attend a presentation at 9 a.m. at the Durrell Center on campus. The community is invited to a 9:30 a.m. poetry and essay reading at the Colorado State University Bookstore in the Lory Student Center. Readers will include children who participated in the Northern Colorado student writing contest.

The community march will begin at 11 a.m. Jan. 19 with a brief welcome at the Colorado State University Oval. Participants will hear music by Rabbi Jack Gabriel, opening remarks by Rev. David Williams, acknowledgement of the poetry and essay winners and practice songs.

The march will proceed east on Laurel Street to College Avenue. The march will continue north on College Avenue to Mountain Avenue. Participants will enter Old Town Square from the northeast intersection of College and Mountain avenues, then continue on to Linden Street. (Note, this is a new location.) Traffic along the march route will be closed off during the march. Participants will be encouraged to sing as they march, with words to several songs provided in the printed program.

The program in Old Town will include music by Mark Sloniker and Friends, an address by Rev. David Williams, excerpts from King’s speeches, selections from the Abyssinian Church Children’s Choir and an opportunity to learn ways to volunteer throughout the community. Participants will be invited to share hot chocolate and birthday cake at the program’s conclusion.

March leaders will include Colorado State University President Larry Penley, Colorado State University Student Body President Jesse Lauchner, Front Range Community College Vice President Jim Butzek, FRCC SGA President Jeremy Ross, Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez, Loveland Mayor Larry Walsh, Poudre School District Interim Superintendent Gary Bamford, Thompson School District Superintendent Dan Johnson and selected students.

That evening, a program will be held at 7 p.m. in Loveland at Thompson Valley High School. It will include an address, "The Impact of Dr. King on Success in Today’s World," with Darin Green, Won Gay (African Drum Group) and presentation of Loveland essay and art contest winners.

On Jan. 10, a community gathering titled "Celebration of Non Violence," will be held from 2-5 p.m. at the University Village Center at 1600 W. Plum Street, Building 34. The event will include a performance of "William the Slave" by Blane Harding; a talk by Tom Cavanagh; a participatory drumming session; and a discussion about personal experiences of peace and non-violence from different cultural viewpoints. Participants also will have an opportunity to create banners for the community march on Jan. 19.

This year’s sponsors include the Center for Justice, Peace and Environment; City of Fort Collins Human Rights Resource and Education Office; Colorado State University; Downtown Business Association; First Call 211; Fort Collins Coloradoan; Front Range Community College; Hillel; Loveland MLK Day Planning Committee; Northern Colorado Bahai’s, Northern Colorado Multicultural Corporation; Poudre School District; Poudre Valley Health Systems Foundation; Thompson School District; and area grocers including Albertsons, King Soopers, Safeway and Toddy’s with a generous contribution by Hewlett Packard.

A schedule of community events follows:

Jan. 10

2-5 p.m., "Celebration of Non Violence" community gathering, University Village Center

Jan. 15

3-6:30 p.m., Poudre Valley Health Systems MLK Celebration, food, music and international speaker Sam Twerefore, Mortenson Room at Poudre Valley Hospital

Jan. 19     

9-10:45 a.m., "Pillars of Fire: The Malcolm and Martin Debates," DC Bottoms, Durrell Center

9:30 a.m., poetry and essay readings, Colorado State University Bookstore in the Lory Student Center on campus

11 a.m., community march from the CSU Oval to Linden Street in Old Town Fort Collins

Noon, gathering on Linden Street with Rev. David Williams, Rabbi Jack Gabriel, Mark Sloniker, Abyssinian Children’s Choir, hot chocolate and cake

6:30-7 p.m., poetry and essay readings aired on KRFC (88.9 FM)

7 p.m.,     "The Impact of Dr. King on Success in Today’s World" with Darin Green and Won Gay (African Drum Group), presentation of Loveland essay/art contest winners, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland

For more information about Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, call (970) 491-6444.