Auburn University to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with week-long tribute

AUBURN – Auburn University will host a week-long tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Friday, Jan. 15 through Friday, Jan. 22, with the theme “Inspiring the Strength to Love: One Auburn, One Community.”

Highlights of the week will include an oratory contest, a scholarship breakfast, guest speakers, lectures, student performances and community service projects. All events are open to the public.

The week’s events begin with an evening with Reverend Joseph Lowery, who will speak at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center on Friday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. Lowery delivered the benediction for President Barack Obama’s inauguration as the 44th President of the United States, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2009.

On Sunday, Jan. 17, the “Word from the Mountain Top” oratory contest will take place at 5 p.m. at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. Middle school through college students will address the question, “How can we rise above the confines of struggle and conflict within our society to inspire a greater love for humanity?”

A scholarship breakfast on Monday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 a.m. at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center will feature Ainsley Carry, Auburn University Vice President for Student Affairs, as the keynote speaker. To purchase tickets for this event, call (334) 844-5042. Monday will also provide an opportunity for community service in “A Day On and Not a Day Off.” To register for this activity, call (334) 844-2976.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 11:45 a.m. in the Auburn University Student Center, rooms 2225 and 2227, Nik Heynen, professor of geography at the University of Georgia, will speak on “The Impact of Environmental Oppression.” The talk is part of the Multicultural Center’s Lunch and Learn Series.

A lecture by Hasan K. Jeffries, professor of history at Ohio State University and author of “Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt,” will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, in rooms 2222 and 2223 of the Auburn University Student Center.

Scholar-in-Residence at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, Wylin Dassie Wilson, will speak about “Christian Identity and Economic Justice in the Rural South” on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 3 p.m. in the Special Collections and Archives department at the Ralph B. Draughon Library. Also on Thursday, there will be a showing of the film “Boycott” at 4 p.m. in the Multicultural Center Reading Room, room 1330 in the Auburn University Student Center.

On Friday, Jan. 22, at 11:45 a.m. the week will culminate with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration featuring music and reflections on the life and contributions of King. The Auburn University Gospel Choir will perform at the event, which will be held in the Auburn University Student Center.

This year’s King Week activities were coordinated by Access and Community Initiatives, a unit of the Auburn University Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. For more information on this year’s King Week at Auburn University, go to

Contact: Paulette Dilworth, (334) 844-5042 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (