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MLK Day events set

 Posted: 2:20 PM January 09, 2013

Ashland will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with several events this year.

Ashland's 25th annual celebration of King will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at the Historic Ashland Armory.

The event is free, but those attending are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for donation to ACCESS.

Master of Ceremonies of the celebration is D. L. Richardson, professor of journalism at Southern Oregon University. A recording of President Barack Obama's MLK Day speech will be used as part of the keynote address.

The event offers a variety of tributes to King through music, spoken word and dance. Among those participating are Oregon Shakespeare Festival actors, the Rogue Valley Gospel Group, Ashland Dance Works, students from Ashland High School, Scenic Middle School, and SOU Black Student union.

At the conclusion of the event at the Armory, the Black Student Union will lead a march to Lithia Park for live music and a re-broadcast of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

Seating at the armory is limited and available on a first-come basis. The doors will open at 11:30 a.m. Officials said the event reaches standing room only by noon. All ages are welcome, but parents are urged to stay with their children during the event. The event will be streamed live to Carpenter Hall for audience members who cannot fit inside the armory.

In a separate evening program, Amnesty International's Southern Oregon Chapter and the United Nations Club of SOU will host a talk on the appreciation and acceptance of diversity in America.

The program starts at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at SOU's Stevenson Union in the Rogue River Room, Ashland. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for light refreshments. Panel speakers will include SOU professor Richardson, Rabbi Joshua Boettiger of Temple Emek Shalom and Pastor Kurt Katzmar from Medford's Congregational United Church of Christ.

The evening discussion will center on tolerance in the American landscape. It is open to the public.

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