University Relations and Communications

MSU Billings' MLK events note the power to make a difference

January 9, 2012



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


Events run from Jan. 16-21; includes special showing of ‘Coach Carter’


Ken Carter, the inspiration behind the film “Coach Carter,” will be in Billings as part of MSU Billings’ annual “Power of One” week honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.


Coach Carter


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.


""“The Power of One” week includes film presentations, a special lecture, art, expression and service to honor the work and legacy of the famous civil rights leader.


One of the highlights of the week will be a special appearance by Ken Carter, the inspiration of the film “Coach Carter.”


A coach, author and educator, Carter will be at MSU Billings for the showing of the movie and a special lecture on Thursday, Jan. 19. The showing of “Coach Carter” will be at 5:30 p.m. followed by a special lecture.


For nearly two decades, MSU Billings has 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 One: The Legacy of MLK at MSUB,” begins on Monday, Jan. 16 with the annual bell ringing ceremony and ceremony and concludes on Saturday, Jan. 21 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 Office of American Indian Outreach and Diversity Center, the Student Activities Board, United Campus Ministries and Associated Students of Montana State University Billings.


Following are highlights of the events:


Monday, Jan. 16 — 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 four-year 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. Guest speaker is Eran Thompson, who has been active in the Not in Our Town organization, and will recite one of King’s speeches.  


Tuesday, Jan. 17 — Embracing and understanding differences
All day: Construction of a “Wall of Hate” in the Student Union Building to help bring awareness to words, concepts and actions that divide us.

5:30 p.m.: Join the faculty, staff and students for and “Open Mic Night.” Staff and students will read select “This I Believe” essays that were written for a first-year seminar class. The essays address concepts important to students which make up the core of who they are.


Thursday, Jan. 19 — Doing the right thing
Noon: Destruction of the “Wall of Hate” and construction of a “Wall of Hope” in the Student Union Building.

5:30 p.m. / Petro Theatre: Viewing of the film “Coach Carter” followed by special lecture by Ken Carter, coach, author and inspiration for the movie.When basketball coach Carter literally locked his undefeated, state play-off bound team out of the gym and forced them to hit the books and stop counting on athletic potential as the only ticket out of a tough, inner city life, he sent a powerful message. The film “Coach Carter” is based on the lock-out and starred Samuel L. Jackson. The story is just one testimony to the strength of Carter’s convictions. His message is one of hard-hitting advice about accountability, integrity, teamwork and leadership.


Saturday, Jan. 21 — Service Saturday
9:30 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 One” events at MSU Billings, contact Tammy Rea, Diversity Center coordinator at MSU Billings, at or by calling 896-5902.