Peace Breakfast, March, keynote address to be featured during Martin Luther King Jr. celebration

Corvallis community members gather for the 2019 Peace March. 

Zoë Sandvigen, News Contributor

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is the longest-running annual event at Oregon State University. This coming Jan. 20, OSU will recognize social justice and change by hosting a number of events. MLK Day aims to bring the community together to remember the importance of standing up for what is right, no matter the time or occasion. 

The day will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the CH2M HILL Alumni Center Ballroom for the annual Peace Breakfast. The tickets are free, but registration is required online. The breakfast will take place from 9-10:00 a.m. 

Brandi Douglas is OSU’s assistant director of Outreach and the Chair of OSU’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee. 

“Oregon State University has been celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for 38 years with the MLK Peace Breakfast,” Douglas said. “Over the years, the celebration has span to multiple days. Currently, it is a week-long celebration that begins on Saturday with the MLK Day of Service, hosted by Community Engagement and Leadership.”

Following the breakfast, attendants can make their way over to LaSells Stewart Center Austin Auditorium for the Keynote Address starting at 11:00 a.m. Raquel Willis, this year’s keynote speaker, is an activist and executive editor of Out Magazine. Willis is a black, queer transgender activist, writer and speaker who seeks to inspire the marginalized individuals and groups. Willis specifically looks at the oppression of transgender women of color.

“Our keynote speaker, Raquel Willis, was chosen because we wanted to bring in a speaker who could connect to the objectives of the celebration. Specifically, a speaker who will reflect on the legacy of Dr. King in a way that is relevant in today’s context,” Douglas said. “As a Black queer transgender activist and writer, Raquel Willis has dedicated her life and work to elevate the lives of transgender women of color and has been impactful in the Movement for Black Lives.”

The Peace March begins at 12:30 p.m., following Willis’ address. The march departs from LaSells and travels about one mile around campus ending at the steps of the Memorial Union.

“The Peace March represents solidarity with community members. It creates an opportunity to reflect on the strategy used by Dr. King and others in the Civil Rights Movement to create change through non-violence,” Douglas said. “The march concludes on the steps of the Memorial Union where there will be remarks from specific members of the OSU and Corvallis community.”