CSU, Fort Collins and Loveland Communities Celebrate MLK Day with ‘Educating the Heart and Mind’ Jan. 17

Note to Reporters: This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will include events throughout the week of Jan. 17. New event details will be listed at www.mlkfortcollins.org as they become available.

The Colorado State University, Fort Collins and Loveland communities will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with several events on Monday, Jan. 17. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Educating the Heart and Mind.”

The route for the traditional one-mile community march, which starts at 11 a.m., will begin in Old Town Square, Fort Collins, and continue down College Avenue to Laurel Street. The march will proceed through the center of the Oval on Colorado State’s campus, then continue west on Isotope Drive to end at CSU’s Lory Student Center. Participants will be encouraged to sing as they march.

Traffic will be restricted during the march. Those restrictions will include delays along portions of College Avenue and Mountain, Oak, Olive, Magnolia, Mulberry, Myrtle, Laurel, Mason and Howes streets. Parking in city garages – located at Remington and Mountain and at Mason and Laporte – will be free on Jan. 17. Two-hour parking restrictions in Old Town will not apply.

The march will conclude with an address by guest speaker Irene Vernon, department chair of Ethnic Studies, at 11:45 a.m. in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center.

Vernon specializes in Native American studies, multicultural studies, and theories of ethnicity. Her intellectual interests and research include Native American health disparities, particularly HIV/AIDS. Vernon is the author of “Killing Us Quietly: Native Americans and HIV/AIDS.” She is a tireless advocate for healthier Native communities and also authored the National Congress of American Indians resolution to recognize the first National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, held March 21, 2007. Vernon is of Mescalero-Apache, Yaqui, and Mexicana descent

Before the march, the community is invited to a 9:30 a.m. poetry and essay reading at the CSU Bookstore in the Lory Student Center on campus. Readers will include Poudre School District students whose winning poems and essays were selected through the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay and poetry contest.

Immediately following the celebration, the Volunteer Fair will be held in the Lory Student Center Food Court. Several local agencies will be on hand to offer the opportunity to learn how to get involved in the community and bring Dr. King’s dream to reality.

Loveland’s 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, at Thompson Valley High School, 1669 Eagle Drive. For more information, contact dick_barton@comcast.net.