Kent State to Hold 14th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Jan. 28

MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid to serve as keynote speaker

Kent State University will hold its 14th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The keynote speaker for the event is Joy-Ann Reid, national correspondent for MSNBC and author of Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide. A book signing and reception will follow the event at the Kent Student Center Ballroom Balcony.

Reid’s keynote address is free to attend, but a ticket is required. Visit to download a free ticket.

Reid was formerly the managing editor of from 2011-2014, a political columnist for The Miami Herald from 2003-2015 and the editor of The Reid Report political blog from 2000-2014. Reid is a 2003 Knight Center for Specialized Journalism fellow. From 2006-2007, she was co-host of Wake Up South Florida, a morning radio talk show broadcast from Miami.

“Dr. King paved the way for all to become transcenders of social injustice, rising above the societal and political ills that separate people and countries,” says Alfreda Brown, Ed.D., Kent State’s vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. “Let us remember Dr. King’s message of hope for our universities, our country and our world. The Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration is a time for reflection and encouragement as we come together with a united front against the social maladies of our time. I invite you to join in this year’s celebration to commemorate a hero whose powerful reflections continue to touch the lives of people everywhere.” 

The commemorative event also will recognize the 2016 recipients of Kent State’s Diversity Trailblazer Award, which honors diversity pioneers associated with Kent State, and Unity Award for Diversity, which recognizes the contributions of any Kent State unit that demonstrates significant contributions in the areas of diversity, equity and/or inclusion.

The annual Day of Service event on Monday, Jan. 18, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. will kick off Kent State’s series of celebratory events that are free and open to the public. Kent State’s Day of Service, which is sponsored by the Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement; Hillel at Kent State; and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, offers Kent State community members the opportunity to engage in community service to area nonprofit organizations. Register for the event.

Kent State’s youngest community members – children at the university’s Child Development Center – also will be involved in commemorative events on Jan. 19 when they host a private reading session featuring children’s book author Angela Johnson.

On Monday, Jan. 25, the Black and Brown Dialogue will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Ballroom Balcony. The celebration will continue with the Game of Life Simulation on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 5-7 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Ballroom, and a Cultural Extravaganza on Friday, Jan. 29, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The celebration will conclude on Saturday, Jan. 30, with “Soaring Into the Future: Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of Ronald E. McNair’s Launch” from 2-4 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The celebration will feature keynote Carl McNair, founder and president of the McNair Achievement Programs. A TRIO Programs history event will be held prior to the keynote address from 1-2 p.m. in the atrium of the Kent Student Center Ballroom.

During the monthlong celebration, the Kent State University Bookstore will feature a Martin Luther King Jr. display and books.

Learn more about Kent State’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration or call 330-672-2442. Use #KentStateMLK on social media to join the conversation about Kent State’s celebration.

POSTED: Thursday, January 14, 2016 09:05 AM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 03:56 PM
Foluke Omosun