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MLK Day: 'Educating the heart and the mind'

January 11, 2011

The theme for the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration hosted by the Colorado State University, Fort Collins and Loveland communities is, 'Educating the Heart and the Mind.'

Students gather on the Lory Student Center Plaza after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day march from Old Town (2009). Image by CSU Photography.

This year's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will include events throughout the week of Jan. 17.

The Colorado State University, Fort Collins and Loveland communities will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with several events on Monday, Jan. 17. The theme of this year's celebration is “Educating the Heart and Mind.”

Traditional one-mile march

The route for the traditional one-mile community march, which starts at 11 a.m., will begin in Old Town Square, Fort Collins, and continue down College Avenue to Laurel Street. The march will proceed through the center of the Oval on Colorado State's campus, then continue west on Isotope Drive to end at CSU's Lory Student Center. Participants will be encouraged to sing as they march.

Traffic, parking details

About 1,000 community members participated in the 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Day march. Image by CSU Photography.

Traffic will be restricted during the march. Those restrictions will include delays along portions of College Avenue and Mountain, Oak, Olive, Magnolia, Mulberry, Myrtle, Laurel, Mason and Howes streets.

Parking in city garages - located at Remington and Mountain and at Mason and Laporte - will be free on Jan. 17. Two-hour parking restrictions in Old Town will not apply. 

Keynote speaker Irene Vernon

The march will conclude with an address by guest speaker Irene Vernon, Ph.D., department chair of Ethnic Studies, at 11:45 a.m. in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center. Vernon specializes in Native American studies, multicultural studies, and theories of ethnicity. 

Her intellectual interests and research include Native American health disparities, particularly HIV/AIDS. Vernon is the author of “Killing Us Quietly: Native Americans and HIV/AIDS.” 

She is a tireless advocate for healthier Native communities and also authored the National Congress of American Indians resolution to recognize the first National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, held March 21, 2007. Vernon is of Mescalero-Apache, Yaqui, and Mexicana descent. 

Community members at the MLK keynote speech in the Lory Student Center. Image by CSU Photography.

Winning poems, essays read

Before the march, the community is invited to a 9:30 a.m. poetry and essay reading at the CSU Bookstore in the Lory Student Center on campus.

Readers will include Poudre School District students whose winning poems and essays were selected through the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay and poetry contest.

Volunteer Fair

Immediately following the celebration, the Volunteer Fair will be held in the Lory Student Center Food Court. Several local agencies will be on hand to offer the opportunity to learn how to get involved in the community and bring Dr. King’s dream to reality.

Loveland celebration

Loveland's 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17, at Thompson Valley High School, 1669 Eagle Drive. For more information, contact

Contact: Jenny Dimas
Phone: (970) 491-1543