University Diversity Committee

Home » MLK Celebration Week at WOU

“We are not makers of history. we are made by history.”


Jan. 15 – 18

Sponsored by the MLK Celebration Committee


Monday, 1/15:

MLK Day of Service | 10am – 12pm | Gentle House

The MLK Committee would like to thank everyone who volunteered at this years MLK Day of Service. Volunteers assembled 100 gift bags and discussed ways WOU can better serve individuals who are impacted by food insecurity.



Tuesday, 1/16:

Poverty Simulation: Addressing Income Inequality | 2pm – 4pm | Werner University Center (WUC), Pacific Room


At this event, participants will gain a broader understanding of poverty and it’s impact on individuals through an experiential learning and critical analysis activity. Students, staff, faculty, and the Western Oregon University community are encouraged to participate. Doors open at 1:50pm and simulation activity begins at 2pm.


Wednesday, 1/17:

MLK Jr. Celebration Annual Dinner | 6pm – 8pm | WUC, Pacific Room


Keynote: Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, public scholar and spoken word artist.

She has co-edited two anthologies including Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements. Imarisha’s nonfiction book Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption won a 2017 Oregon Book Award. She is also the author of the poetry collection Scars/Stars, and is currently working on an Oregon Black history book, forthcoming from AK Press.

For six years, she presented statewide as a public scholar with Oregon Humanities’ Conversation Project on topics such as Oregon Black history, alternatives to incarceration, and the history of hip hop. Imarisha has taught in Stanford University’s Program of Writing and Rhetoric, Portland State University’s Black Studies Department, Oregon State University’s Women Gender Sexuality Studies Department, and Southern New Hampshire University’s English Department.

Imarisha’s website is

$3.00 for students

$5.00 for general admission (includes dinner)

Beginning January 8, tickets can be purchased at several locations including the Werner University Center front desk and MLK booth, or in the Office of Disability Services located in APSC 405. Students who have a meal plan can use their ID/Meal cards to purchase MLK tickets for $3 at Cafe Allegro in the Werner University Center.

Should tickets be available, they will be sold before the program on Jan. 17 outside the Pacific Room.

Payment: cash and/or students meal card.


Thursday, 1/18:

Student-Led Session: Media’s Representation of Marginalized Communities | 4pm – 6pm | WUC, Willamette Room


Does the media accurately represent you and your community? Have you ever been misrepresented based on your gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, culture, or class, among others, within main-stream media? At this student-led session, members of the Black Student Union will facilitate a critical analysis of media’s representation of marginalized communities. Come join the conversation and bring your perspective.

Throughout the MLK week, there will be a media’s representation of marginalized communities display in the Werner University Center, adjacent to the WOU Campus Bookstore. Stop by to view the display and provide your reactions. The insights and perspectives from the display will be used as talking points for the student-led session.

co-sponsored by the Black Student Union




Students can also participate in an essay competition for the chance to win gift certificates to the bookstore. Three winners will be selected and have the opportunity to read their essay at the MLK dinner. Complete essay and entry form should be turned to the Writing Center by the deadline of Jan. 12, 2018. Entry form can be found here: MLK Essay Contest Entry Form 2018 A



If you require an accommodation to participate in a WOU activity, please notify Disability Services at least 72 hours in advance: 503-838-8250 or

Questions regarding MLK Jr Celebration Week at WOU:

Contact Rosario Peralta at: