Fargo-Moorhead celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 1963, delivering his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Special to The Forum

MOORHEAD — Monday, Jan. 20, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day , a holiday set aside to observe and honor the life of the civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968.

King’s legacy and a look at race in America today will be explored at a number of events in the Fargo-Moorhead area on Monday.

All of these events are free and open to the public.

'Not Racist'

Class is in session on Monday at Concordia College , and students will get a course in bigotry with a daylong colloquium, " Not Racist: The White Moderate Myth ." The symposium, held in the Memorial Auditorium, features national speakers. Janaya Khan , known in the Black Lives Matter movement as Future, talks at 9:45 a.m. Later, the author of “So You Want to Talk About Race,” Ijeoma Oluo , speaks at 1:30 p.m. Both talks will be followed by sessions to continue discussions.

The event’s final installment is a panel discussion from 4:15-5:30 p.m. in Centrum, Knutson Campus Center, featuring keynote speakers Erin Maye Quade , advocacy director at Gender Justice and former Minnesota State Representative, and Heather Keeler, an enrolled member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, an advocate for equitable and inclusive practices and a member of the Fargo Native American Commission and Moorhead Human Rights Commission .


Commemorating the Legacy

A few blocks away, Minnesota State University Moorhead is taking a TEDx-style approach to exploring the impact King made. " Commemorating the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr." features MSUM students and faculty discussing the need for social activism and political involvement.

The program starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Comstock Memorial Union Ballroom, with talks by Jered Pigeon, MSUM's director of diversity and inclusion, as well as dean of the College of Arts, Media & Communication, Earnest Lamb , Vice President of Academic Affairs Arrick Jackson, students Ponny White and Kayla Roehrich, and the keynote speaker, Moorhead's mayor and director of equity and inclusion at Minnesota State Community and Technical College Moorhead , Johnathan Judd . A panel of the speakers will take questions after their talks.

Celebrating the life

The Fargo Human Relations Commission returns to the Fargo Theatre again for its annual " Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration " at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

This year’s event, with the theme "Reflections on the Common Good," will honor members of the area working to benefit the community, like Legacy Children's Foundation , a nonprofit that empowers young people through leadership development and relationship-building, Lenard Wells, an advocate for felons seeking new beginnings, and Zamzam Abdi, founder of the Somali Student Association at North Dakota State University .

For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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