Wyoming Arts Council

Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue events at UW Feb. 2-7

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From a University of Wyoming press release:

Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Dialogue (MLKDOD) at the University of Wyoming.

Collins will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in the Wyoming Union Ballroom. His talk is free and open to the public.

“The MLKDOD planning committee is pleased to bring in a keynote speaker of this caliber to the University of Wyoming,” says Ryan Dinneen O’Neil, who co-chairs the committee with Chicory Bechtel. “We hope the topics explored at this and other MLKDOD events will help attendees think critically about social justice issues within the context of Wyoming and the campus community.”

UW Athletics Director Tom Burman sees a good opportunity for the community and the university’s student-athletes to hear Collins’ message.

“To have a former college student-athlete of Jason Collins’ stature come speak at the University of Wyoming will be a great opportunity for our current UW student-athletes,” Burman says. “Jason was part of a great basketball program at Stanford University and went on to play 13 seasons in the NBA.  He, of course, has displayed great personal strength and courage to be the first male professional athlete in the four main team sports to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality.”

This year’s MLKDOD theme, “Equity in the Equality State,” recognizes the importance of dialogue about issues that affect Wyoming, Dinneen O’Neil and Bechtel say. UW community members honor the continuing impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his life and ideals through this celebration. The week of activities serves as a renewal of UW’s commitment to making the campus and Wyoming a more welcoming and empowering place for people from different backgrounds, heritages, orientations or abilities, Dinneen O’Neil and Bechtel say.

Events (all free) during the week are designed to raise awareness of diversity issues, build a sense of community and celebrate diversity. To view the entire week’s events, visit the MLKDOD website at http://www.uwyo.edu/mlkdod

Arts-oriented events include “Frames of Reference: A Gallery of Words” held Feb. 2-7 in Wyoming Union Skylight Lounge. Here’s a description: “We all see the world through different frames of reference. Visit the gallery of words in the Skylight Lounge to experience others’ and share your own.”

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