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

Note to Reporters: This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will include events throughout the week of Jan. 17. Event details are listed at www.mlkfortcollins.org.

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, which was held March 21, 2007. Vernon is of Mescalero-Apache, Yaqui and Mexicana descent.

Along with the keynote address, the event will include a choir performance by CLPE Riversong Choir, welcome by CSU President Tony Frank, mayoral proclamation by Fort Collins Mayor Doug Hutchinson and performances by Dance Express and slam poet Panama Soweto.

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, a Volunteer Fair will be held in the Lory Student Center Food Court. Several local agencies will be on hand for participants 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.

The film, “The Hidden Story of Hurricane Katrina: A Community Stands Up for Change,” will be shown from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, in the Lory Student Center Grey Rock Room. A discussion with New Orleans Alternative Spring Break and Asian Pacific American student leaders will follow the film.

“The End of Racism Workshop” with Preacher Moss will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, in Room 230 Lory Student Center.

The Preacher Moss “End of Racism” Comedy Tour will be held at 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, at the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.