MU’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration took place yesterday featuring a speech by Pulitzer Prize winning author and activist Junot Díaz.
The event took place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Jesse Auditorium on the MU campus.
Recent national discourse around issues of immigration is why Díaz is the “right person at the right time,” says MU Professor Stephanie Shonekan, co-chair of the MLK Planning Committee.
“We try to find a speaker who will inspire us as a community, not only a campus community but also the Columbia community, to continue to embody those wonderful lessons that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. left with us,” she explains.
“[Díaz] really speaks a lot about the experiences of Americans, mostly immigrants. We think that this is timely and important and certainly fits into Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy,” Shonekan continues.
During the event the committee will also present the University of Missouri Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award to a Boone County resident or group contributing to the “goal of achieving greater cultural and ethnic diversity in the community.”