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CMU hosts Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

Grand Junction – Colorado Mesa University will host Nita Mosby Tyler on Monday, January 21 as the university celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day in western Colorado.

The role of universities in the advancement of civil liberties has always been pronounced. Many landmark milestones in the civil rights movement were and are the result of university students. From the Greensboro sit-in to the Freedom Rides of the 1960s, students have always been at the forefront of what Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for in the nonviolent activism of the African-American civil rights movement.

“Behind the headlines of major civil rights achievements was often the dedication of university students to promoting equality,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “CMU is bringing Nita Mosby Tyler to campus because MLK Day reminds us all of the role students played then, and the role our students must continue to play now in advancing and protecting civil rights for all Americans.”

Signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, MLK Day is officially observed in all U.S. states and is among a select few national holidays dedicated to a single person. Mosby Tyler will speak to the community about how her organization seeks to extend what Dr. King initiated.

“Dr. King believed that through social equity all people could gain access to the benefits of U.S. citizenship irrespective of their physical attributes,” said Mosby Tyler. “While we have come a long way towards equity, the march is likely a long one that will end only when equality is truly achieved in all major societal systems.”

Prior to hearing Mosby Tyler speak, participants will join the MLK planning committee in a commemorative march beginning at the Handy Chapel in Grand Junction, Colorado, and ending at CMU.

“The day is a reverent one but also a lot of fun and extends throughout the week,” said Ky Oday, CMU coordinator of student diversity. “People of all races and backgrounds come together to celebrate what unites all Americans under the U.S. constitution. We celebrate that which unites all people in all places under what Dr. King identified as a higher order. It’s hard not to get emotional when the gravity of what Dr. King stood for really hits you.”

Community members are encouraged to join students in the march and then engage with the CMU sponsored keynote address in the Love Recital Hall at 5:30pm.