Fresno State will pay tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. noon – 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, and the campus will be closed Monday, Jan. 21, for the national holiday in observance of King’s birthday.

A garlanding ceremony will be held at the MLK monument in the university’s Peace Garden.

This commemoration is presented by the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute and co-sponsored by Researchers and Critical Educators, an interdisciplinary organization of faculty addressing issues related to academic excellence in race, ethnicity, class, culture, linguistic diversity and gender.

Dr. Malik Raheem, a professor of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation in the Kremen School of Education, will lead. Additional speakers include Cher Teng “Bee” Yang, Social Work; Dr. Vena Kapoor, retired-Social Work; Dr. Jenelle Pitt and Dr. Kim Cole, Education. Closing remarks will be provided by Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor, professor emeritus of Social Work Education and Peace and Conflict Studies.

The public is invited to bring flowers to lay at the base of the MLK statue following the garlanding ceremony. There also will be an open microphone available for participants interested in providing reflections.

Fresno State’s King monument is one of four honoring peace advocates in the Peace Garden, which Su Kapoor helped established in 1990.

The 6-foot, 500-pound statue of Rev. King by artist Richard Blake, an assistant professor of art history at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, was dedicated Jan. 18, 1998King’s eldest daughter, the late Yolanda King, delivering the keynote address at the dedication.

Dr. King is depicted in his ministerial robes holding a small child, which Blake said represents innocence and is symbolic of his concern for future generations.

For more information, call the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute at 559.278.6946.

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