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MLK Jr. Celebration Week at WOU
MLK Celebration Week Events
1/13- Selma: Showing & Discussion
The marches from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery to secure voting rights for black Americans are depicted in this docudrama set during the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, and which focuses on the actions of Martin Luther King Jr.
- Event start time: 6pm
- Event run time: ~ 128 min
- Location: Monmouth Public Library
- Cost to participate: Free, free pizza too!
1/16 - Day of Service
The Day of Service is a great opportunity to serve your community. To honor Martin Luther King Jr. and his call to serve others, we will be taking time this coming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday (January 16th) to come together as a community to serve those in need. WOU is partnering with the City of Monmouth,some of our Students will be working with elderly and individuals with disabilities to assist them with much needed yard and house work they are not physically able to do themselves.
- Event start time: 10:00 am
- Event run time: ~ 4 hours
- Location: Monmouth/Independence
- How to sign up: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScsQh8WZtaoT7K7B52e3dIxxHDExG23k-CAk1DtA8qE_DA_oQ/viewform?usp=sf_link
- Cost to participate: Free
- Transportation: Sign up above, will be meeting at 9:30am for wolfride.
1/16-1/20 - $2023 for 2023
Goal $2023 Carnival Game Tabling
Join us January 17-19th from 11:30-1pm in the WUC second floor to pay to play a mini carnival game, can win prizes.
Pie Your Professor
January 20th from 12-1pm on the WUC Plaza. Come pie your favorite professor/staff member! Pies will cost $1 and all donations will go to our basic needs fund!
1/17 - BSU Dream Boards
Date: January 17th
Event time 5:00-6:30
Join BSU to build your own Dream Board, and take a moment to reflect and relax while looking ahead to the future.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or @woubsu
1/18 - Sincerely: reading and discussion of MLK's statements
Date: January 18th
Event time 5:00-6:30pm
Join WOU students and WOU Professor Mike Wilson for a panel discussion surrounding some of Dr. Martin Luther King’s lesser known statements. This event will be a safe space for encouraging the WOU community to share in the realization of social justice as it relates to their personal struggles and the challenges of modern-day society.
Contact: email@example.com or @woubsu
1/19 - Annual dinner featuring Keynote speaker Dr. Omogun
Date: January 19, 2023
Time: Doors open at 5pm, Opening remarks at 6pm
Location: Pacific Room, WUC
Tickets: Free, please RSVP at this link.
Introducing our Keynote speaker
Dr. Lakeya Omogun is a Nigerian and African-American artist, scholar, writer, and
speaker. Across all her roles, she has one mission – to shift static ideas about identity.
Born in New York and raised in Detroit, her childhood and adolescent experiences
across both cities birthed her desire to become a teacher. Her desire stemmed from her
belief that youth, especially youth in urban communities, deserve high-quality
educational experiences. So, she taught elementary and middle school for several
years in Newark, NJ, Detroit, MI, and Harlem, NY. She carries all her students’
memories with her in all that she does.
While teaching in Harlem, NY, Dr. Omogun noticed that most of her 7 th grade West
African students’ schooling experiences mirrored her own. They, too, hid aspects of
their African identity in the classroom. However, they proudly showed their African
identity outside of school and on social media. This led her to pursue her doctoral
studies where she worked closely with Nigerian immigrant youth in Central Texas to
understand how moving to the United States impacted their identities, language, and
Currently, Dr. Omogun is an Assistant Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture in
The University of Washington’s College of Education. Informed by her lived and
teaching experiences, her research project focuses on Black African immigrant youth.
Specifically, she explores the role of language, literacy, including digital literacies, in
Nigerian immigrant youth identity constructions and negotiations across school,
community, and digital spaces. She pays particular attention to how America’s hyper-
racial structure (re)shapes their identities.
Most recently, Dr. Omogun started a nonprofit organization, LitiArts, that prepares youth
for college by fusing academics with literacy & the arts to keep their identities at the
core. She is also a fierce advocate for educational justice and uses her teaching,
creative writing, and public speaking to advocate for youth and families. Her creative
writing and public speaking have fostered public conversations and social impact in
relation to identity, education and have reached over 180,000 readers and listeners.
She has spoken on TEDx Talks, National Public Radio (NPR), and at SXSW. Her
writing has been featured in ESSENCE Magazine and ZORA Magazine. In 2020, she
won DivInc’s – a program that removes barriers to entrepreneurship for
underrepresented tech founders – “Rising Star of the Year” award.
Dr. Omogun holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Michigan State University, a
M.A. in Literacy Education from Teachers College, Columbia, University, and a Ph.D. in
Language and Literacy Studies from The University of Texas at Austin.
Outside of work, she loves to travel to her favorite people and new places. She loves
hitting the gym or going for a peaceful walk. When she is not on the move, she is either
trying a new recipe or slowly moving through a TV series.
If you require an accommodation to participate in a WOU activity, please notify the Office of Disability Services at least 72 hours in advance: 503-838-8250 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To request interpreting, TypeWell transcribing, or captioning services, click here.
Questions regarding the MLK Celebration Week at WOU:
Contact Malissa Larson at
2023 MLK Jr. Celebration Week Planning Committee
Highlight- Sincerely: The lived experiences of Black students in life and as a Western Oregon University student. (2022)
Sincerely: The lived experiences of Black students in life and as a Western Oregon University student.
Production: QLoop Productions, WOU College of Education
Kayla Dow, Cinematographer
Jeneba Diane King, Camera Operator
Ebony Hall, Producer
Alona Kemenyash, Camera Operator
Please take time to watch this student-led video, reflect on their powerful story/message, and ask yourself what steps you will take in response to their call. For additional insights on this video project, visit today.wou.edu.
Past MLK Celebration Weeks & Speakers
2022 - Injustice Anywhere is A Threat to Justice Everywhere
Theme: Injustice Anywhere is A Threat to Justice Everywhere
Dates: January 17-21, 2022
This year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration theme is “Injustice Anywhere is A Threat to Justice Everywhere,” which is included in Dr. King’s response to criticism of his work and ideas, in his 1963 essay, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” This year’s celebration highlights WOU Black student excellence as well as an exploration of one of Dr. King’s most historic letter from a Birmingham jail. For event details, please reference below.
Keynote: Dr. Reginald Richardson, President of the Salem-Keizer NAACP
Photo by Abigail Dollins via Statesman Journal
A Jailbird’s Fight for Freedom: Throughout our history, there has been men and women unjustly jailed and imprisoned. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the one for whom we celebrate stands out as a figure who was unjustly imprisoned. This jailbird supported the practice nonviolent civil disobedience that landed him in jail dozens of times. Dr. Richardson’s keynote address will explore one of Dr. King’s most important historical essays, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” in support of the theme of “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.“
2021 - The Time Is Always Right To Do Right
Theme: The Time Is Always Right To Do Right
Dates: January 18 – 22, 2021
Keynote Speaker: Tai Harden-Moore, JD, MBA
Keynote Address: https://www2.wou.edu/nora/woutv.video.viewer?pvideoid=1599
MLK Student Video Contest Winner: Aiyanna Suazo
2020 - Tribute Dinner
2019 - Tribute Dinner
Dates: January 23, 2019
Keynote Speaker: Christopher Coleman
Keynote Address: https://www2.wou.edu/nora/woutv.video.viewer?pvideoid=1283
2018 - We Are Not Makers of History, We Are Made By History
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr.
Keynote Speaker: Venon Wall
Keynote Speaker: Rev. Jaime Washington
Keynote presentation: https://www2.wou.edu/nora/woutv.video.viewer?pvideoid=592
2009 - 2013
2013 Keynote Speaker: Heidi Durrow
2012 Keynote Speaker: Mark Mathabane
2011 Keynote Speaker: Keith Bauchamp
2010 Keynote Speaker: Bridget Gray
2009 Keynote Speaker: Fred Gray