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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Department of Africana Studies Honors MLK With Virtual Celebration

The virtual celebration, hosted by the Department of Africana Studies, will take place Jan. 20-22.
By SDSU News Team

To honor and celebrate the life and impact of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., San Diego State University’s Department of Africana Studies will host a three-day virtual event Jan. 20-22.

The virtual celebration will be held in place of the annual luncheon due to health and safety orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first two days of the event will include land acknowledgments, a welcome from Dean of College of Arts and Letters Monica J. Casper, song and dance performances and a commemorative video presentation. The final day will be a full length program featuring a keynote address from Katherine Bankole-Medina, announcement of scholarship recipients and an unsung hero award.

"We should continue to study and celebrate Dr. King because of his eternal optimism,” said Adisa A. Alkebulan, chair of the Department of Africana Studies. “He believed that America could be what it always said it was if we continued to struggle to make it so. Although many of us do not share his optimism, it's still important to honor King and recognize that his confidence in America can serve as a moral guide for a truly just and righteous path to victory."

The virtual celebration is open to all SDSU faculty, staff and students. Registration is required and is available at this link.

The university’s connection to King goes back decades.

King delivered an address at San Diego State College’s Open Air Theatre on May 29, 1964 to a near-capacity crowd. Nine months prior, King gave his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech. Six weeks after King’s visit to the university, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 

A plaque dedicated in 2014 at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre commemorates King’s visit.