JMU honors King with weeklong celebration


by Sam Roth

Portrait of Diane Nash
Diane Nash

Diane Nash, an African American activist, lecturer and businesswoman, is the guest speaker for James Madison University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week formal program on Jan. 18.

Nash’s presentation is part of the Jan. 18-22 week honoring the life and legacy of the late civil rights leader. Organized by the Center for Multicultural Student Services, the week’s theme is “Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”

Nash will speak at 7 p.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. to her public address.

Nash studied English at Howard University before transferring to Fisk University. There, she became one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement after attending non-violent civil disobedience movements in 1959. Throughout the 1960s, Nash was involved in multiple activist campaigns, which led to President John F. Kennedy appointing her to a national committee that aided in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Her commitment to civil rights has been cited in numerous books, documentaries, magazines and newspaper articles.

The Center for Multicultural Student Services’ program, D.E.E.P Impact (Diversity Excellence Education Program), will be showing the film “Selma” as a part of the celebration week. The film will be shown in Grafton-Stovall Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Madison Union Ballroom, D.E.E.P Impact will sponsor the dialogue “Justice or Just Us?” D.E.E.P Dialogues are designed to engage students in a meaningful discussion about issues related to diversity and multiculturalism.

The annual march through campus will begin at the James Madison statue near Varner House on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 3:50 p.m. The march will conclude at the Madison Union Ballroom, where the annual Speak Out will be held to offer participants an opportunity to share their thoughts on King’s life and legacy.

The final Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week event, “We Are the Dream” Gala, will take place Friday, Jan. 22, in the Festival Conference and Student Center Ballroom A at 7:30 p.m.

For more information about the week, contact the Center for Multicultural Student Services at 540-568-6636 or visit

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Published: Friday, January 15, 2016

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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