University Relations and Communications

MSU Billings extends MLK Day events into weeklong call for action

January 10, 2010



Office of Community Involvement, 896-5815
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Coach Herman Boone from “Remember the Titans” to appear following showing of film on January 21


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Paying homage to the experience of historical events and honoring the power of an individual to make a difference, the faculty, staff and students at Montana State University Billings will use events surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day next week as a springboard for greater understanding and change.


logo for MLK DayThe events include film presentations, art, expression, special speakers and the opportunity to experience life as participants in the famed underground railroad during the American Civil War era. 


The week of events includes a special appearance and talk on Thursday, Jan. 21 by coach Herman Boone, whose life and actions were made famous in the film “Remember the Titans” starring Denzel Washington.


MSU Billings has long sponsored the national bell ringing ceremony on MLK Day as an educational community event. The additional events are designed to further engage students and the community in a more diverse way. All events are free and open to the community.


“The Power of 1: The Legacy of MLK at MSUB,” begins on Monday, Jan. 18 with the annual bell ringing ceremony and ceremony and concludes on Saturday, Jan. 23 with a university-led service project.


The events are coordinated by a coalition of faculty, staff and students. Groups involved in planning include the Office of Community Involvement, the Residence Hall Association, the Department of Native American Studies, the Student Activities Board, United Campus Ministries and Associated Students of Montana State University Billings.


Following are highlights of the events:


Monday, Jan. 18 — Martin Luther King Jr Ceremony
9:45 a.m. / Peaks to Plains Park: National Bell Ringing Ceremony begins at Peaks to Plains Park at the MSU Billings main campus, 1500 University Drive. Following the bell ringing, participants are invited to proceed to the Student Union Building for other ceremonies and the annual MLK Day program. The keynote speaker this year is Claudia Stephens, development coordinator for the Montana Migrant Council. Special music will be provided by the Night Hawk drum group and a MLK speech will be read by Eran Thompson, who has been active in the Not in Our Town organization. 


Tuesday, January 19 — Embracing and understanding differences
11 a.m.-2 p.m.:  “The Power of Art” -Join MSUB students as they spontaneously create visual pieces portraying their views of diversity / SUB Atrium
7 p.m.:  Viewing and discussion of “The Laramie Project,” a film about the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming college student / College of Technology Great Room
Through Friday:  Take in “Time for Change,” an interactive time line that shows how everyday people saw and changed injustice throughout American history / SUB Galleria


Wednesday, Jan. 20 — Experience the underground railroad
3-5 p.m. / Liberal Arts Building: The underground railroad project is an experiential endeavor in which participants travel through a variety of simulated encounters that reflect what 19th century slaves may have experienced while on their journey to freedom. Participants will encounter such experiences as learning how to travel by reading the stars, listening to tradition black slave music, escaping from bounty hunters and many more simulated experiences. At the end of their “journey to freedom” a group dialogue will occur in which participants may share their interpretations and experiences while also be educated on underground railroad facts.
7 p.m.:  Open Mic Night:  Celebrate diversity through music, poetry, rap, etc. / Stingers in the SUB


Thursday, Jan. 21 — Doing the right thing
6 pm: Viewing of the film “Remember the Titans” followed by speech by coach Herman Boone / Petro Theatre
Saturday, Jan. 23 — Service Saturday
10 a.m. to noon: Staff, students and faculty and members of the public invited to meet in the Student Union Building near the bookstore for a community service project. Free.


For more information on “The Power of 1” events at MSU Billings, contact the Office of Community Involvement at 896-5815.