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UCO to Host Week of Activities Celebrating the Life of Martin Luther King Jr.

Jan. 9, 2014

Media Contact: Lindsay Houts, Staff Writer, UCO University Relations, 405-974-2121,


The University of Central Oklahoma will offer the community several ways to celebrate the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. during “King Week,” a series of activities set to begin Monday, Jan. 20.

Organizers hope to inspire students and address injustices people have faced or may still face because of their race, gender or sexual orientation.

“We are now celebrating 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and it is important to continue to revaluate his dream and what it means to the current generation and their quest to make a difference,” said MeShawn Conley, director of Central’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).

“Programs like the Enterprise Oratory Competition and ‘Words that Changed the World’ provide us an opportunity to hear students interpret King’s words, his dream, and what they mean to them,” Conley added.

King Week events include:

  • MLK Day of Service, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 20: The MLK Day of Service is a nationally recognized holiday and the only Federal holiday observed as a national day of service. Students will volunteer at various non-profit sites in the Edmond and Oklahoma City metro areas, including the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, City Rescue Mission and Infant Crisis Services. Lunch will be provided on-site. Students may sign up online using OrgSync at
  • Oklahoma City 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, 2 p.m. Jan. 20, downtown Oklahoma City: The 2014 parade, “Expanding the Dream,” will begin at the corner of Broadway Avenue and NW 7th Street in Oklahoma City, proceeding along Broadway Avenue to Sheridan Avenue. Those interested in participating with Central can contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 405-974-3588. 
  • “Words that Changed the World,” 1 p.m. Jan. 21, Nigh University Center (NUC), Room 300: Five members of the UCO community will choose a quote of Martin Luther King Jr.’s and in 10 minutes provide its historical context and the impact the words have on today’s society. Refreshments will be provided.
  • 4th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Enterprise Oratory Competition, 2 p.m. Jan. 22, NUC Will Rogers Room: The inspiration for the competition comes from Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Three Central students, Vince Burr, Taylor Felton and Bruce Wang, will compete for the $500 first place prize. Refreshments will be provided.
  • MLK Gospel Fest 2014, 7 p.m. Jan. 23, NUC Constitution Hall: Music and the gospel played a pivotal role during the Civil Rights movement. Often serving as inspiration, music also unified a people for a cause and gave voice to many of the ideas and needs of the time. Various community and college performers will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy through music, dance, and spoken word. A reception with light refreshments will follow.

All events during King Week are free and open to the public.

For more information about Central’s King Week, contact the ODI at 405-974-3588 or visit