The Bozeman community will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., receiving the Nobel Peace Prize with two free community events set Saturday, Jan. 18, and Sunday, Jan. 19.
The theme for the 2014 celebration is “Now is the time,” a phrase from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
A free, family-friendly celebration including music and inspirational speeches will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Emerson Cultural Center. Emceed by Missy O'Malley and Bobbi Anderson, the event will feature a keynote speech by Montana State University President Waded Cruzado. An articulate and inspirational speaker, Cruzado has served as MSU’s 12th president since January 2010. She is a passionate champion of the land-grant university's tripartite mission of education, research and public outreach, as well as the important role higher education plays in the development of individuals and the prosperity of the nation.
The afternoon of celebration also includes a live musical performance by Mus Q, and a remembrance of Dr. King by dramatist and educator Chris McIntyre and local activist and Democratic National Convention delegate Dan Lourie. Immigrating to U.S. after fleeing the Nazi invasion of Belgium in 1940, Lourie has been a part of the civil rights movement since the 1960s. Lourie currently serves as a board member for the Gallatin Valley Human Rights Task Force.
A celebratory short march of solidarity down Main Street will be followed by a birthday cake and sing-along. The event is expected to conclude at 3:30 p.m.
“This is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon – kids, students and families alike will all take inspiration from this important day of remembrance of Dr. King’s powerful leadership message in a world that so desperately needs it,” said Carmen McSpadden, director of the MSU Leadership Institute and member of the MLK Celebration Committee.
Prior to Sunday’s festivities, an art reception and sign-making party will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Wild Joe's Coffee Shop. The reception will serve as a preparatory event for the following day’s celebration. Participants will be invited to view student civil rights-inspired art, utilize provided materials to make parade signs, and enjoy free food and the talent of local musician Ava Swanson and Sarah Click, a senior at Bozeman High School.
“This celebration exemplifies the spirit, mission and values behind MSU’s Year of Engaged Leadership. The Leadership Institute is incredibly grateful to be a sponsor in this milestone celebration of Dr. King’s legacy,” McSpadden said.
Both events are sponsored by the Bozeman Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, MSU Year of Engaged Leadership, MSU Leadership Institute, ASMSU, Chief Joseph Middle School, Million Ways Club, and the Bozeman Public Library. Other supporters include MSU Renne Library and MSU Diversity Awareness Office. For more information, please contact the MSU Leadership Institute at 406-994-7275 or visit www.montana.edu/leadership, www.facebook.com/MSULeadershipInsitute, or Twitter - @MSU_Leadership.
Carmen McSpadden, director, MSU Leadership Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org, (406) 994-7667