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Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. With Us

Join us for a weeklong series of events from Monday, Jan. 22 through Friday, Jan. 26

Please mark your calendar for Columbus State’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. As Columbus State continues the work of Dr. King to build a better, more inclusive, community, we are proud to champion his powerful messages and invite you to join us with a weeklong series of readings, volunteer opportunities, discussions, and more.

watch a recording of the keynote event

MLK Week Planned Events

The three Evils Filter: Examining the ethical landscape of 2024 through the lens of Dr. King’s “Three Evils” 

Monday, Jan. 22 | noon to 1:30 p.m. | WD 412 
Dublin RLC: Room 331 
Delaware Campus: Moeller Hall, 202 
Remote: Zoom  

In Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 speech, "The Three Evils", he diagnosed the nation with a “triple pronged sickness” of racism, materialism, and militarism. Only a “radical revolution” that uproots these values, Dr. King argued, will save our moral conscience and ensure the survival of our civilization. From artificial intelligence to political polarization, catphishing to race baiting, military intervention to economic stratification, this guided discussion will use Dr. King’s explanation of “the three evils” as a lens through which to unpack the realities of life in 2024. 


Tuesday, Jan. 23 | noon to 3 p.m. | WD 412
Dublin RLC: Dublin 331
Delaware campus: Moeller Hall 202

Join us for an interactive student panel tied to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. During this discussion, we will explore the historic and present challenges our students face as they navigate the higher education system. Afterwards, participate in the vision board activity, celebrating the journey of higher education. Connect, learn, and contribute to a brighter educational future. Don't miss this unique opportunity!


Wednesday, Jan. 24 | 10 a.m. to noon | WD Ballroom

Hasan Kwame Jeffries

Photo of HansanJoin us for a keynote address by Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Alumni Associate Professor at The Ohio State University.

Hasan Kwame Jeffries teaches, researches, and writes about the African American experience from a historical perspective.

He has chronicled the civil rights movement in the ten-episode Audible Originals series “Great Figures of the Civil Rights Movement,” and has told the remarkable story of the original Black Panther Party in Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt, which has been praised as “the book historians of the black freedom movement have been waiting for.”

Hasan has collaborated on several public history projects, including serving as the lead scholar and primary scriptwriter for the $27 million renovation and redesign of the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He currently serves as the chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Montpelier Foundation, which stewards the Virginia estate of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States and the architect of the Constitution.

Hasan regularly shares his expertise on African American history and contemporary Black politics through public lectures, op-eds, and interviews with print, radio, and television news outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, NPR, CNN, and MSNBC.

He has also contributed to several documentary film projects as an historical advisor and featured on-camera scholar, including the 2023 documentaries Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World (PBS) and Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power (NBC/Peacock). And his 2020 TEDx Talk “Why we must confront the painful parts of US history” has been viewed more than 2 million times.

For his public history work, the King Arts Center (Columbus, Ohio) honored him with a 2023 Legacy and Legends Award.

Hasan’s commitment to teaching what he calls “Hard History” led him to edit Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement, a collection of essays by leading civil rights scholars and teachers that explores how to teach civil rights history accurately and effectively, and to host the podcast “Teaching Hard History,” a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning for Justice division. Hasan also helps school districts develop anti-racism programming and culturally responsive curricular content centered on social studies by conducting professional development workshops for teachers and administrators.

A College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Associate Professor in the Department of History at The Ohio State University, Hasan takes great pride in opening students’ minds to new ways of understanding the past and the present. For his pedagogical creativity and effectiveness, he has received numerous awards, including Ohio State’s highest commendation for teaching – the Ohio State Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Hasan graduated from Morehouse College in 1994 with a BA in history and earned his PhD in American history with a specialization in African American history from Duke University in 2002.

view the program for the keynote event

George Floyd Memorial Scholarship 

As part of the keynote event, the 2023 winner of the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship will be announced. This scholarship, created in memory of George Floyd, is a merit-based award given to students who demonstrate leadership, social justice work, and activism that furthers progress in their community.  

Interested in supporting Columbus State’s George Floyd Memorial Scholarship? Any contribution is welcome to help extend scholarship awards to deserving students. Just designate your gift to the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship fund. Thanks for your consideration. 

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Student and Employee Visionary Dreamer Awards 

As part of the keynote event, the 2023 winners of the Visionary Dreamer Awards will be announced. Winners make a significant and lasting contribution to continue creating an environment where diversity is honored and respected on our campuses and within the broader community. Read more here on nominationguidelines and the history of the two awards. 

Wednesday, Jan. 24 | 12:30  to 1:30 p.m. | WD 410
Dublin RLC: Dublin 331
Delaware Campus: Moeller Hall 202

Students are invited to join us to connect and engage in dialogue with keynote speaker Dr. Hasan Jeffries, author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt and recipient of the 2023 Legacy and Legends Award by the King Arts Center in Columbus, OH. Signed copies of Dr. Jeffries book will be available.

register (Students only)

Thursday, Jan. 25 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. | WD 412 

We’re honoring 60 years of Columbus State and 50 years of hip hop with this interactive gathering of history enthusiasts, storytellers, music lovers, and everyone else who wants to celebrate and help us reconstruct the Black history of Columbus State! 

  • Roll up your sleeves! Help identify the who, what, when in a collection of unlabeled archival photographs. 
  • Give voice! Visit the Story Booth to record your story as part of a growing collection of Black experiences at Columbus State.
  • Represent! Bring photos, event programs, documents, degrees, t-shirts, and other artifacts relevant to the Black history of Columbus State from your time as a student or employee. (You may choose to donate items or have them photographed.) Got artifacts? We'd love to hear what you're planning to bring!
  • Put your hands in the air! Listen to the beats that shaped a culture through the years. 

The history we dig up at Diggin’ in the Crates will become part of an immersive Black History of Columbus State exhibit and reception planned for later this year. 
A special thank you to the Columbus State Library team for their leadership of this event. 



Friday, Jan. 26 

To honor and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of the beloved community, Columbus State Community College will offer the MLK Day of Service on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.  Volunteer opportunities will be available throughout the day at 20 different sites in central Ohio including Columbus, Delaware County, and the surrounding area, see the map of sites here. Site leaders and volunteers will engage in reflection and conversation about King's legacy of service and action.

Registration for MLK Day of Service is NOW OPEN on Cougar Connect. 

Sign up now

MLK Day of Service Frequently Asked Questions 

Coretta Scott King said, “the greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others.” 
If you have any additional questions do not hesitate to reach out to Sophia Lombardo at and check out the page  Serve Our Community on Cougar Connect to get any additional updates! 

“If America does not respond creatively to the challenge to banish racism,
some future historian will have to say, that a great civilization died because it lacked the soul and commitment
to make justice a reality for all men.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.