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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Our 32nd-annual celebration kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 26 and continues with events through Black History Month

Join our annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We are presenting a mix of virtual, hybrid, and in-person events that honor Dr. King’s legacy and carry on his work to create a more equitable, just, and inclusive community for all people.

Masks are required indoors while visiting Columbus State. Please mask up if you join us in person!

MLK Celebration Events

Birmingham jail image
Why We Can’t Wait: A Discussion of “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26
Virtual panel discussion

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Columbus skyline photoCreating College Opportunity

6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10
The Center for Workforce Development, 315 Cleveland Avenue, and online

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The Rich vs. Wealth Mindset: Does Our “Black History” Know the Difference?

The Power of Accumulation:  BIG Changes Start with Small Beginnings!

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11
Mitchell Hall, 250 Cleveland Avenue, and online

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Keynote image of hands
KEYNOTE: Alone We Might Survive, Together We Can Thrive

10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16
Center for Workforce Development, 315 Cleveland Avenue, and online

Featuring keynote address by Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin and community activist

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Food for Thought: A Discussion on Nutrition Disparities in Minoritized Communities

1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17
Mitchell Hall, 250 Cleveland Avenue
In-person culinary workshop (registration required)

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Painting Songs of a Movement

2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17
Mitchell Hall, 250 Cleveland Avenue
In-person public art project collaboration

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Additional Black History Month Events

African American Read-In Chain

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10

Join our annual hosting of the National African American Read-In Chain event sharing selected readings by Black authors. 

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Poets in Black

Thursday, Feb. 24, Noon-1 p.m.

Enjoy readings of African-American poetry and prose at the 24th Annual Poets in Black event.

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On-Demand Resources

video

Reading of Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize Award Acceptance Speech
Video presentation featuring Columbus State students, staff and faculty

video

“A Reading of the Letter from Birmingham Jail”
Short film shared from the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

Letter from Birmingham Jail

Statement by Alabama Clergymen | April 16, 1963

Check out the Columbus State Library for more learning resources!


Why We Can’t Wait: A Discussion of “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26
Virtual panel discussion

Presented by the Black Student Union and the MLK Planning Committee

watch the Event

Dr. King, along with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), were invited to Birmingham, Ala. In 1963 to collaborate with the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) on dismantling segregation and racist tactics used against African Americans.

During the visit, Dr. King was arrested for leading a protest against restaurants and retail shops in downtown Birmingham. While imprisoned, he came across a local paper and viewed statements from eight Birmingham clergymen condemning his presence, condemning the non-violent protests, and urging African Americans to seek justice and equality solely through the courts and not in the streets of Birmingham.

In response, Dr. King composed the historic document now known as “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” 

Please join us to discuss this historically significant document; its themes, history, and relevance in society today; and much more

To get the most out of the discourse, please read the following prior to the event:


Presenters

The Promise of Columbus: Creating College Opportunity

6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10
The Center for Workforce Development, 315 Cleveland Avenue, and online

Join the event

Join storyteller, author, and documentarian Donte Woods-Spikes as he hosts a panel featuring Columbus community advocates Terrence Lawrence and Tiffany Corpening and Columbus State students Munira Muse and Cecil Ntim. They will discuss possible barriers that block college opportunities for Black youth, and what forms of support can make the college experience a reality for those same young people in the City of Columbus.

African American Read-In Chain

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday, February 10

Join the Event

For over 25 years, the Columbus State English Department has partnered with Student Engagement and Inclusion to host the National African American Read-In Chain.

The Read-In invites schools and community groups to read and share works by and about African Americans to promote literacy across the nation.

Columbus State’s participation is recorded by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association. In 2021, Columbus State’s Read-In took place virtually with over 65 attendees and readers! Learn more about the National African American Read-In Chain.

The Rich vs. Wealth Mindset: Does Our “Black History” Know the Difference?

The Power of Accumulation:  BIG Changes Start with Small Beginnings!

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11
Mitchell Hall, 250 Cleveland Avenue, and online
Presentation by the ONIONomics qualitative behavioral economics and financial wellness program

Join the event

Part 1: Rich vs. Wealth

The “wealth mindset,” “wealth consciousness,” and “generational wealth” have become the new buzz words in 2021 and 2022. However, is it possible the word “wealth” has been incorrectly used to describe what it really means to be rich. Is there even a difference between the two?

If you follow our dollar, “Black History” not only reveals that there is a difference, but how we’ve erred on the side of riches vs. wealth as Black Billionaires make up fewer than 1% of all billionaires worldwide. Notwithstanding the racial wealth gap, much of the Black Community has equated financial success with having expensive cars, houses, and enough cash to fill a bank. Unfortunately, professional athletes, social media and the like, have only helped to re-enforce this.

However, get ready to delve into the myths and misconceptions around the rich vs. wealth mindset and rediscover how the power of “choice” can be your password to a whole new financial future!

Part 2: Power of Accumulation

The idea of wealth creation can be very difficult when you are barely "making ends meet." However, Harrison Gilmer transcends those barriers by introducing something called "The Power of Accumulation."

In the same way that snow slowly accumulates on the surface of a driveway as opposed to in One. Single. Disbursement. - the principles of wealth creation are NO different. We always think we need to pay the entire debt off before we can start. But the reality is that somewhere between waiting and "life happening," we never get there.

This session will not only equip you with the fundamentals of money management, but it will help you understand the Power of Accumulation and how Big Changes start with small beginnings!

Keynote: Alone We Might Survive, Together We Can Thrive

10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16
Center for Workforce Development, 315 Cleveland Avenue, and online

Register for in-person

Join the event

Join our signature MLK Celebration keynote event which this year will feature keynote speaker Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin and community activist. Since his son's death in 2012 from a violent confrontation with a neighborhood watch captain, Tracy Martin has committed his life to transforming tragedy into change. Along with Trayvon's mother, Syrina Fulton, and their son, Jaharis Fulton, Tracy Martin is the co-founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation. He regularly addresses audiences on becoming agents of change for racial justice.

A community vendor fair will immediately follow the keynote event.

Guests and participants are encouraged to wear hoodies in honor of Trayvon.

Food for Thought: A Discussion on Nutrition Disparities in Minoritized Communities

1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17

Mitchell Hall, 250 Cleveland Avenue
In-person culinary workshop (registration required)

Register to join

Facilitated by Columbus State’s School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts and the ASPIRE study, this interactive workshop will guide participants through the creation of select healthful and nutritious menu items while sharing about the results from a recent study exploring food injustices within minoritized communities. Participants will leave this presentation better empowered to make smart culinary choices and with samples of food prepared during the session. Limited seating is available.

Painting Songs of a Movement

2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17
Mitchell Hall, 250 Cleveland Avenue
In-person public art project collaboration

Join local artist Simone Robinson in contributing to the hands-on creation of a collaborative art piece for future display at our downtown campus.

Poets in Black

Noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, February 24

Join the Event

Columbus State's English and Global Diversity and Inclusion Departments will host our 24th annual Poets in Black.

The event is held each year in honor of Black History Month and invites Columbus State faculty, staff, and students to celebrate with an afternoon of poetry and prose of African-American and Pan-African writers.



George Floyd Memorial Scholarship

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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