Martin Luther King Jr. Day observed Jan. 16 with march and celebration at Colorado State University

FORT COLLINS — The Colorado State University and Fort Collins communities will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with several events on Monday, Jan. 16. This year’s theme is “Justice Now.”


“It has been nearly 54 years since Dr. King delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech during the famous March on Washington,” said Bridgette Johnson, director of CSU’s Black/African American Cultural Center. “The planning committee selected Justice Now as the theme to ensure the message was clear: We have not arrived and immediacy is still necessary.  Over a half-century of struggle for equality and there is still much work to be done.”


The Fort Collins MLK Day observance kicks off at 11 a.m. with the traditional community march from Old Town Square to the Lory Student Center on the CSU campus. Ray Black, assistant professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at CSU, will deliver the charge to the marchers before they leave Old Town.


March route

The route of the one-mile community march will proceed south down College Avenue, then west on Laurel Street. The march will continue through the center of the Oval on campus, then west on Isotope Drive to end at the LSC. Free transportation will be available back to the Old Town garage on Mountain Avenue at Remington Street.


Celebration events

Immediately following the march, a celebration will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. During the celebration, Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell will deliver a proclamation, CSU President Tony Frank will deliver remarks, and this year’s poetry and essay contest winners from Poudre School District will read their winning works. Entertainment will be provided by Denver-based African dancer Puleng Marutle, who is also a student at CSU.


A full schedule of events is at


Sponsors for the MLK Day March and Celebration are the City of Fort Collins, CSU Black/African American Cultural Center, CSU Campus Activities, Poudre School District, Front Range Community College, Downtown Development Authority Fort Collins, CSU Lory Student Center, CSU Apartment Life, CSU Bookstore, CSU Vice President for Diversity and CSU Police Department. 


On Feb. 1, the Black/African American Cultural Center will kick off the opening of Black History Month at CSU at 4 p.m. in Ballroom C of the Lory Student Center. For more information, go to