Northern Michigan University's Martin Luther King Jr. observance will include a March for Equality and Day of Service when classes are not in session. a featured presentation by Rep. Brian Sims of Pennsylvania, a free distribution of Braiding Sweetgrass to students to launch the Diversity Common Reader Program and the annual Drag Show.
The March for Equality will begin at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19. It will travel from the Payne/Halverson lobby to the Peter White Lounge of the University Center, where there will be readings and an open mic at 1 p.m. Volunteer service projects that same day will include Habitat for Humanity home construction from 9:30-11:30, Room at the Inn training from 10 a.m. to noon, making fleece blankets and knitted projects for the Women’s Center and making cards for veterans and soldiers from 1:30-3 p.m. in the University Center Peter White Lounge, painting at the Janzen House from 1:45-3:45 p.m., painting and book readings at the U.P. Children’s Museum from 2-4 p.m.; and leading bingo at Norlite Nursing Home from 7-8:15 p.m. Participants can register at nmu.edu/skillbuilders.
Sims will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, in the University Center Great Lakes Rooms. There is no charge to attend. He earned his juris doctorate in international and comparative law at the Michigan State University School of Law. Sims later served as staff counsel for policy and planning at the Philadelphia Bar Association, where he worked with attorneys, legislators and community organizations on issues ranging from gender and pay inequity to environmental regulations. He is the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania.
The Diversity Common Reader Program will launch with a free book distribution and pizza for students from 1-3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, in the Hedgcock Atrium. This year’s selection is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer. The Drag Show will be held that same evening at 8 in Vandament Arena. Admission is free for NMU students and $5 for the general public.
NMU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Week is sponsored by the president’s committee on diversity, the NMU Volunteer Center, the Multicultural Education and Resource Center, and ALLIES.