University of Idaho to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Friday, January 13 2012

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with events throughout the weekend, culminating with a presentation given by Jeff Guillory, director of diversity education at nearby Washington State University.

“It wasn’t that long ago when basic civil rights that we enjoy today were denied to citizens of the United States,” said Leathia Botello, coordinator of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “It is important to remember where we started from so that we know where we are going. It is still an ongoing battle all over the world and it is important for students to see this, help create change, and make a better world for all.”

Events will kick off on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 9 a.m., with the 19th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Human Rights Breakfast. Speakers include Helen and Bob Singleton, members of the Freedom Riders. General admission costs $8, and $4 for students and children.

The university will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, in observance of Idaho Human Rights Day.

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the film, “I Have a Dream,” will be shown twice, at noon and 4 p.m., in the Student Diversity Center in the Teaching and Learning Center. The movie showcases King’s most famous speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963. The film is approximately 25 minutes. This event is free and open to the public.

The week of events will conclude with a presentation titled, “From Civil Rights to Cultural Competence: What Have We Learned?” given by Guillory. The presentation will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 5 p.m., in the Idaho Commons in the Summit Rooms.

Guillory will share his experiences growing up in the segregated South and his first experience with integration in the Northwest. He also will cover the evolution of diversity education from awareness to requirement in today’s labor market. His hope is that attendees will leave with something that they can use in their college and professional careers. Guillory’s presentation will be a great opportunity for students to gain a new perspective on the history of segregation, integration and diversity in the U.S.

Guillory is a University of Idaho graduate and the current director of the diversity education program for the Division of Student Affairs/Office of Equity and Diversity at Washington State University. His unique and compelling history includes 20 years of experience as a human resources professional, 10 years of experience as a diversity education professional, and 15 years of experience as a consultant for major companies and organizations in many different fields, including organizational development, conflict management, and cultural competency. He has worked with a wide range of groups that includes the Cheyenne/Arapaho tribe of Oklahoma and the University of Oregon.

Guillory’s presentation is sponsored by The Office of Multicultural Affairs, AmeriCorps and Women’s Center.
# # #

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: