Oregon State University’s virtual Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations will include a speech and Q&A with a civil rights activist. Angela Davis will be OSU’s virtual keynote speaker.
Activist, author, and educator Angela Davis has been a prominent figure since the civil rights movement. Her recent work has exposed racism in the U.S. prison system.
Scott Vignos is OSU’s Assistant Vice President for Strategic Diversity Initiatives and one of the leaders for the celebration committee. He said the 39th MLK celebration — the university’s longest running program of its nature — has been a bit daunting to plan remotely. But he’s excited the online format will allow residents outside of Corvallis to attend the celebration.
Vignos said it’s really meaningful to have Angela Davis attend and talk about the ways the Black Lives Matter movement overlaps with other activism initiatives, such as the environmental, economic and LGBTQ liberation movements.
“Dr. Davis has been talking about these intersections since the 60s,” said Vignos. “So the fact that I think we’re starting to see parts of her own philosophy around creating societal change really come into really clear focus is exciting.”
Following Davis’ talk, OSU-Cascades will host a discussion titled “The Time is Always Ripe to Do Right: Reflections on Everyday Activism,” which will focus on ways participants can become everyday activists.
Departments across OSU and community groups are hosting additional virtual events the week of Jan. 18-22. This includes film screenings, a book club, and workshops.
OSU-Cascades will also continue with its fifth annual Day of Service. Students will honor the civil rights leader’s legacy by volunteering remotely and in-person at nonprofits including the Central Oregon Humane Society, Central Oregon Locavore and Camp Fire Central Oregon.