University Relations and Communications

Service, diversity awareness at heart of MSU Billings' Martin Luther King events next week

January 11, 2011



Tammy Rea, Diversity Center, 896-5902
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


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 service to the community.


The events include presentations, art, expression, special speakers and the opportunity to serve the community on a new level.

This year, in collaboration with the Not In Our Town Billings group and the Black Heritage Foundation of Billings and Yellowstone County, the annual community candlelight vigil, MLK speech re-enactment and presentation will be held at the MSU Billings main campus.


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. 17 with the annual bell ringing 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 Those involved include the Diversity Center, the Office of Community Involvement,  Housing and Residential Life, the Department of Native American Studies, the Student Activities Board, United Campus Ministries, Disability Support Services and Associated Students of Montana State University Billings.


Following are highlights of the events:

Monday, Jan. 17 — Martin Luther King Jr Ceremony
9:50 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 to take part in a service project led by the university. The community candlelight vigil is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the bell in Peaks to Plains Park. Following the vigil, participants will proceed to the Petro Theater in the SUB for special speakers, music  from the Columbus Choir, Sweet Adelines, the MSU Billings Concert Choir, the All Nations Choir and a historic re-enactment of one of King’s landmark speeches by Eran Thompson, who has been active in the Not in Our Town organization. 


Tuesday, Jan. 18 — The Wall of Hate
All day:
  Sponsored by Housing and Residential Life, the project allows students, faculty and community members to construct a wall of objects that represent hateful actions or attitudes that discriminates against others. The construction will take place in the SUB and the wall will be symbolically torn down later in the week.


Wednesday, Jan. 19 – A Sense of History
Take in “Time for Change,” an interactive time line that shows how everyday people saw and changed injustice throughout American history / Hallway near MSU Billings Library


Thursday, Jan. 20 — Special Presentation:  Mohammed Bilal
7 p.m.:
Best known as “the even-tempered, dread- locked rapper guy” on MTV's “Real World III: San Francisco,” Mohammed Bilal is also a diversity consultant, musician, poet, and an extraordinary writer who educates audiences about some of today’s greatest social problems. As facilitator of over 300 diversity presentations and workshops worldwide, his clients have included Lucent Technologies, Progressive, Boston College, Friends of the Children, and the US Treasury. / Petro Theatre


Friday, Jan. 21 — Doing the Right Thing
All day:
Library Diversity Exposition Display / MSU Billings Library
Noon: Tearing down Wall of Hate / SUB
1:30 p.m.: Discussion of Disability Equality Measures with guest speaker Jill Stout of the MSU Billings Office of Disability Support Services.


Saturday, Jan. 22 — Service Saturday
9:30 a.m.:
Staff, students and faculty and members of the public invited to meet in the Student Union Building atrium for a community service project.


For more information on “The Power of 1” events at MSU Billings, contact Tammy Rea at the MSU Billings Diversity Center at 896-5902 or by e-mail at


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