Talk by Diversity Educator and State Representative Highlights Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events Jan. 17

A diversity educator and advocate will address diversity and values as the Fort Collins, Loveland and Colorado State University communities come together to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

State Rep. Angie Paccione, who is biracial with Italian and African American parents, will deliver the event’s keynote address in support of this year’s MLK Day commemoration theme, "Are We Living the Dream?"

Events on Jan. 17 will focus on King’s values, as written by Coretta Scott King, which include courage, truth, dignity, humility, compassion, service and justice. Activities also will include a gathering at Colorado State’s Oval, a march from the Oval to Old Town and a program at Loveland’s Thompson Valley High School in the evening.

Before the march, Colorado State students can attend a presentation by Tony Daniels, assistant director of Black Student Services, on "The Values Revisited: A Closer Look at the Values Embraced by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." at 9 a.m. in DC Bottoms of the Durrell Center. Community members can attend poetry and essay readings that will include works by participants in the Northern Colorado student writing contest at 9:30 a.m. at the Colorado State University Bookstore in the Lory Student Center.

The community march will begins at 11 a.m. at Colorado State’s historic Oval. Participants will be able to write their commitments to King’s seven values on banners that will be carried during the march. Participants also may write the names of people who represent the values. Student emcees from Black Student Services will give welcoming remarks and discuss the purpose of the MLK holiday. Student poetry and essay winners will be recognized prior to the one-mile march to Old Town.

The march will begin at the Oval, proceed east on Laurel Street to College Avenue and continue north on College Avenue to Mountain Avenue. Participants will enter Old Town Square from the northeast intersection of College and Mountain avenues and continue walking to Linden Street. Traffic along the 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.   

Free parking will be available on the Colorado State campus and buses will be available on Remington Street after the rally for transportation back to campus.

Paccione will deliver the keynote address at the community rally in Old Town. Paccione is a research associate with the Interwest Equity Assistance Center in the School of Education at Colorado State, a role in which she trains teachers in six states to provide equitable instruction along the dimensions of race, gender and second-language learning. Paccione is a former U.S.A. women’s basketball team member and professional athlete, high school educator and administrator and was the only woman to coach a boys’ basketball team in large schools in Colorado. She also teaches teacher education and diversity at Colorado State.

The program in Old Town also will include a performance by the NINE Baha’i Youth Workshop.  Tables will provide participants with more information on ways to become actively involved in the community, and hot chocolate and birthday cake will be available.

The evening program in Loveland will begins at 7 p.m. in Thompson Valley High School. The headliner will be Santemu Aakhu, an acclaimed storyteller, singer and drummer. The program also will include a performance by the NINE Baha’i dancers; a tribute to the late Dr. Joe Jabaily, a longtime supporter of MLK Day and neurologist and state legislature candidate; readings of winning entries in the Thompson R2-J MLK essay contest and showings of winning entries in the art contest along with diverse art and book displays. Sign-language interpretation will be available at all events throughout the day.

Sponsors of Martin Luther King Jr. Day include Colorado State University, City of Fort Collins Human Rights Office, Front Range Community College, Northern Colorado Multicultural Corporation, Poudre School District, Poudre Valley Health Systems Foundation, First Call 211, Hillel, Fort Collins Coloradoan, Gallegos Sanitation, Pepsi, Wild Oats, Safeway, Walmart, Sam’s Club, King Soopers, the Northern Colorado Baha’i’s and through a very generous contribution from the Hewlett-Packard Company.

Visit for more information about Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The schedule for Martin Luther King Jr. Day community events follows.

Monday, Jan. 17

9-10:45 a.m.: "The Values Revisited: A Closer Look at the Values Embraced by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." by Black Student Services Assistant Director Tony Daniels, 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 State Rep. Angie Paccione,, NINE Baha’i Youth Workshop, hot chocolate and cake.

7 p.m.:  Storyteller, singer and drummer Santemu Aakhu, NINE Baha’iI dancers, tribute to Dr. Joe Jabaily and presentation of Loveland essay/art contest winners, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland.

Tuesday, Jan. 18

7:30 p.m.: Broadcast of poetry and essay readings from MLK Day on KRFC 88.9 FM.

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