Honoring Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Next Monday our nation will pause to celebrate the life and contributions of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  A pastor, activist and humanitarian leader from 1954 until his untimely death on April 4, 1968, Dr. King was a major figure in, and perhaps the best-known spokesperson for, the African-American civil rights movement in the 20th century.  This year commemorates what would have been Dr. King’s ninetieth birthday. 

Reverend King’s extraordinary writings, speeches, and personal activism will live on in perpetuity.  In his famous Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech on December 10, 1964, Dr. King shared this vision: “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.  This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

For many years, Spokane and like cities around the nation, have memorialized his life and works through acts of service and community gatherings.  I urge any community members who wish to do so, to join in the following events on Monday, January 21:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally and Unity March
Monday, January 21 – 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Spokane Convention Center, 334 W Spokane Falls Boulevard, Ballrooms A, B, and C
A poster making session will take place at 9:00 a.m. in the Hemmingson Ballroom before proceeding to the Convention Center for the Rally and March.

Historic Perspectives & the Fierce Urgency of Now: A Teach-In on Civil Rights in Spokane
Teach-In Programming – 12:15 – 2:30 p.m.
Hemmingson Center Ballroom, Gonzaga University
Topics to include:

  • 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. – Fair Housing Act & Housing Policy in Spokane (Rick Eichstaedt & Logan Camporeale)
  • 1:05 – 2:00 p.m. – Life, Legacy & Contemporary Impact of local Civil Rights Leader Carl Maxey
    • Carl Maxey History & Legacy (Dennis Cronin)
    • Bringing this Home: Our Current Landscape (Sandy Williams)
  • 2:05 – 2:30 p.m. – Panel discussion with all of the speakers

The event is free to the public but please RSVP as space is limited: https://bit.ly/2PAzHyg

There are many ways of observing the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  Whether you choose to celebrate the day through activism, service, or quiet reflection on the meaning of a life lived in commitment to the cause of justice, let us continue to work toward building a community and nation based upon justice, respect, unarmed truth and unconditional love.

Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.
President, Gonzaga University
January 16, 2019