SOU and other local organizations sponsor MLK, Jr. celebration

Southern Oregon MLK, Jr., Celebration on Jan. 15 in Ashland

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University will join several other local organizations in sponsoring this year’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Celebration for southern Oregon from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15, at the historic Ashland Armory and in downtown Ashland. All community members are invited to participate in the event, which is free and open to the public.

The festivities will honor Dr. King’s legacy, and the diverse and vibrant southern Oregon community. This year’s theme is “We Choose Love! Now more than ever, the DREAM must continue.”

The event’s keynote speech will be delivered by D.L. Richardson, a civil rights scholar, educator and longtime host of the local MLK celebration.

This year’s event will also include messages from Rogue Valley faith leaders, spoken word presentations by area students and performances by the Ashland School District Middle School Choir, the Rogue Valley Peace Choir, BASE Youth Dancers and The Friends of Bishop Mayfield Band, who will perform a tribute to the beloved local blues legend.

There will be a slideshow presentation on the importance of the Civil Rights Movement, as the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act is celebrated, 60 years later.

In keeping with long-time tradition, participants in the MLK celebration will march from the Ashland Armory to the downtown Plaza to hear Dr. King’s original “I have a Dream” speech, and a performance by the Kirby Shaw Singers.

Seating for the Ashland Armory portion of the family event will be limited, and available on a first-come basis. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m., and sign language interpretation will be provided for the live event and an online simulcast at

While the event is free, donations are welcome and everyone is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the SOU Food Pantry.

Sponsors and participating organizations, in addition to SOU, include the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, Travel Ashland, City of Ashland, Ashland School District, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland Food Co-Op, Black Southern Oregon Alliance and Black Alliance for Social Empowerment..