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Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Ames

Celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. with this series of events:

Ames/Story County Community Celebration

The 2022 Ames/Story County Community MLK Day Celebration will be held Monday, Jan. 17 at Ames Middle School, with keynote speaker Jeff Johnson, president & CEO of the Iowa State University Alumni Association. A social will begin at 6 p.m., with the program starting at 6:30 p.m.


MLK Day crafts at The Workspace

Commemorate the birthday of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with creative activities at The Workspace in the Memorial Union on the ISU campus. Drop in Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for crafts including freedom quilt squares and MLK coloring pages. Everyone will also receive a Black Lives Matter button. This event is free, and activities can be done in the studio or taken to-go. All ages are welcome.


MLK Day of Service at the library

This event actually requires some advance planning. Community members are invited to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by donating materials or volunteering your time for a service project at Ames Public Library.

Through Jan. 16, bring donations of new or unused containers (travel- or full-sized) of the following items to the drop box in the library: toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo/conditioner, and menstrual products.

On Monday, Jan. 17 volunteers are needed between 10 a.m. and noon to help pack donated supplies into kits to be distributed by The Bridge Home to those in need. Families are welcome. This project is supported by Ames Public Library’s Teen Advisory Group.


Better, Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice by Yusef Salaam

Iowa State University’s 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. keynote lecture will be held on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Yusef Salaam was just 15 years old when, in 1989, he was one of five New York youths convicted of committing a brutal rape in Central Park. The convictions of “The Central Park Five” were vacated in 2002, and the young men were later exonerated.

In 2014, The Central Park Five received a multi-million-dollar settlement from the city of New York. Salaam was awarded an honorary doctorate that same year and received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 from President Barack Obama. He was appointed to the board of the Innocence Project in 2018 and recently released a book titled Better, Not Bitter about his experiences and philosophy of life.


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