The University of North Dakota, in concert with other area organizations, will stage the first-ever communitywide Martin Luther King Jr., Day celebration in Grand Forks, Monday, Jan. 21, at the Empire Arts Center.
The event is made possible thanks to the contributions made by UND, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, Crookston’s Black Student Association; the UND Black Student Association, the Era Bell Thompson Multicultural Center on the UND campus, Girl Scouts, Dakota Horizons, Northstar Council, Maurice’s, UND Office of University Relations, Ground Round, Grand Forks Air Force Base, U.S. Food Service and several Service Clubs in and around the Grand Cities.
The event is themed “Team Work Makes the Dream Work.” The celebration will be held to celebrate and commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.
The day will kick off with a Unity Walk, starting 11 a.m., at Grand Forks Central High School, 115 N. Fourth St., and ending at the Empire Arts Center. Following will be the Martin Luther King Jr., program, which will be performed at noon. A community social with refreshments will be held at 1 p.m.
There will be two contests held to promote the celebration. The first is a 500-word essay contest in which all entries should reflect an understanding of and the meaning behind King’s legacy of teamwork, how King’s overall work has influenced you and how you have used that to better serve the community. All ages may enter the essay contest. Entries should be submitted online or mailed to ATTN: Contest Committee, 2800 University Ave., Stop 7092, Grand Forks, N.D., 58203. Submissions will be accepted through Jan.15.
There will also be a coloring contest held for those ages 2-12. Entrees for the coloring contest may be completed and postmarked to the previous address by Jan.15.
Winners for both contests will be announced at the Empire Arts Center on Jan.21.
Martin Luther King Day is a national holiday, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. It is celebrated every year on the third Monday of January to honor Martin Luther King Junior’s birthday, which is actually on Jan. 15. This holiday was first observed in 1986 and was not observed in all states until 2000.
– By Kate Menzies, University Relations student writer.