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Celebration of MLK Jr. set at Western

MONMOUTH -- "Unity and Community" are the appropriate themes for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Western Oregon University next week.

January 15, 2013

MONMOUTH -- "Unity and Community" are the appropriate themes for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Western Oregon University next week.

The event, a collaboration between several university departments and student organizations, will feature a number of informational presentations on social justice and film viewings.

"Every year it's a little different ... but we have a nice combination of (offerings) this year," said Nan Lehto, an MLK week coordinator.

A keynote address on Jan. 24 will feature The New York Times best-selling author Heidi Durrow.

Durrow is a former corporate attorney, journalist and life skills trainer for the NFL and NBA. The daughter of an African-American Airman and a white Danish woman, she also won the prestigious Bellwether Prize for Fiction for her book "The Girl Who Fell From the Sky."

Another highlight of the week is a community service project to take place at Henry Hill Elementary School in Independence on Jan. 25 -- participants will help the school plan and refurbish booths for an annual carnival.

"We are doing so to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who called for individuals to rise above differences and create community," said Shondra Russell, a project coordinator.

What's Happening

WOU Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration activities include:

* Tuesday -- Showing of film "Brother Outsider" at noon in Werner University Center's Willamette Room.

* Jan. 23 -- Presentation entitled "Unity and Community: The Spoken Word." Noon in the WUC Willamette Room.

* Jan. 24 -- Presentation entitled "How to turn your passion for social justice into a career." Noon in the WUC Willamette Room. A commemorative dinner starts at 6 p.m. in the WUC Pacific Room, followed by a musical performance by acappella group VIBE and keynote address by Heidi Durrow.

* Jan. 25 -- Community service project at Henry Hill Elementary School in Independence from 1 to 5 p.m. Citizens are welcome to participate.

All events are free except for the commemorative dinner. Cost is $5 for students and $8 for community members. Tickets are available until Tuesday. For more information or to buy dinner tickets: 503-838-8737.