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Week of events commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

January 10, 2017

mlk-week-centerpieceNIU will host a series of events in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week, Jan. 16 – 20. This year’s theme is “The Simple Art of Living Together,” inspired by the speech Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

“Dr. King made a point to address issues that were affecting not one singular population, but society as a whole,” said Dr. Gena Flynn, director of NIU’s Center for Black Studies. “One of the things we are going to try to tackle during the week as a community – NIU and DeKalb – is thinking through how we live together.”

Flynn said the week-long celebration provides an opportunity for individuals to reflect on their own opinions and predispositions and then take the next step of heeding Dr. King’s message regarding peace and justice.

“Through the events we have planned, people will have time for reflection, but they will also be challenged to think critically,” Flynn said. “We need to then take the next step and think about how we can better relationships within the community.”

The week-long celebration is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Community Engagement Event (Jan. 16)
A series of events are planned for Monday at the DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak St.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Arts, crafts and reading activities for elementary school age children.

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Teens discuss approaches, need and challenges in developing a community where living together becomes an art for youth.

Community Ecumenical Service (Jan. 16)
Faith leaders and community members join to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 830 N. Annie Glidden Road. All are welcome. A potluck dinner will follow the service.

#OneLoveNIU (Jan. 17)
Everyone is invited to gather in the lower level of Holmes Student Center to make their mark around the message of love and positivity. The campaign is sponsored by the NIU Student Association.

Diversity Dialogue with Jane Elliott (Jan. 18)
NIU is honored to welcome anti-racism educator Jane Elliott as the keynote speaker of this year’s Diversity Dialogue. Elliott will present “The Anatomy of Prejudice: Power, Perception and Prejudice” at 6 p.m. in Carl Sandburg Auditorium in the Holmes Student Center, 340 Carroll Ave.

Unity March and Community Gathering (Jan. 19)
The march begins at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Altgeld Auditorium and will stop for reflection at the MLK Commons. Pastor Leroy Mitchell of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church will be the keynote speaker.

Connect through Community Service (Jan. 16 through Jan. 20)
Part of simply living together is recognizing how you can serve those in need in your community. Take part in a community service activity and post it to social media using #NIU#livingtogether. Please be sure to reach out organizations you plan to help to plan your event or ask what items they most need. Email [email protected] with questions or if you need suggestions for service ideas.