Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration To Reflect on Equity in Higher Ed

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Ye "Solar" Hong

Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College’s Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will host a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast on Jan. 17 to honor the life of one of the most influential civil rights activists in the history of the United States of America.

Dr. Ye “Solar” Hong, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, said the event aims to provide a platform for the community to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through spoken words.

“It is a continuous process to encourage people to join the journey of striving equitable outcomes for all,” she said. “It is essential to have this opportunity to gather together, to share what we have learned or been inspired from the impact that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has made, to try our best to close the gaps between the privileged and historically underrepresented groups.”

The event, which will take place in BSU’s Beaux Arts Ballroom from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., will virtually welcome Dr. Andriel Dees, vice chancellor for equity and inclusion for the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities and Dr. Henry Morris, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Steven D. Parker, Bemidji State and Northwest Tech’s campus diversity officer, and Michele Brielmaier, NTC’s dean of nursing and human services, will also offer live remarks regarding their own experiences and insights on King’s legacy. Student senate president Kendra Draeger, a junior biology major from Waseca, Minnesota, and vice president Caleb Travis, a senior social studies education major from Pine River, Minnesota, will also speak.

The celebration is open free to the public and will be held in-person with limited attendance and over Zoom. Pre-registration by Friday, Jan. 14, is required.