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Martin Luther King celebration set for Ashland

Tributes to late civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy will be presented from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St.

"The event, as always, resonates with current national conversations and the passions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," says Claudia Alick in a news release. "We continue to draw inspiration from his words: 'Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness.' "

Alick is producer of the celebratory event, sponsored by the Ashland School District, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Southern Oregon University, Jefferson Public Radio and the City of Ashland.

There will be performances by the Flag Team and Teen Theatre of Crater High School, Ashland Danceworks, a choir led by Kirby Shaw, the Rogue Valley Gospel Choir, DeLanna Studi of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ben Badden and DJ Omari. Master of Ceremonies will be D.L. Richardson, a professor of journalism at Southern Oregon University, and Mary Farrell, founder and director of Maslow Project in Medford, will be the keynote speaker.

Farrell was born and raised in the Rogue Valley and is a graduate of SOU. She worked in outreach and case management for homeless children and families for several years through the Medford School District before founding Maslow Project.

Maslow is a one-stop resource center where youths can access basic needs and supportive services. It has received national recognition for its programs and been featured in such media outlets as The New York Times, BBC, ABC's "20/20" and MTV. Farrell also participates in the American Leadership Forum of Oregon.

The celebration will conclude with a march to the Ashland Plaza led by members of the SOU Black Student Union. King's "I Have a Dream" will be broadcast on the Plaza.

Admission to the event is free, and donations of nonperishable food items will be accepted. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. at the armory.