HAMMOND and WESTVILLE, Ind. – Purdue University Northwest (PNW) invites the public to join its annual celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. PNW will host community conversations and a keynote speaker on Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, as well as facilitate volunteer community service opportunities on Jan. 12 and Jan. 15.

“In the spirit of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., let us strive for a society where justice, equality and compassion unite us in celebration of the shared dream for a brighter tomorrow,” said Darien Thompson, director of African American Initiatives at PNW. “We are excited to welcome the community to PNW for this special occasion!”

Community members are invited to attend a Unity Breakfast on Jan. 11 for free at PNW’s James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex, 1401 S. U.S. 421, Westville, IN. Registration opens at 8 a.m. and food will be served starting at 8:30 a.m. To register and view sponsorship information, visit pnw.edu/mlk-celebration.

Author Kevin Powell, a 2024 Grammy-nominated poet, will serve as keynote speaker for PNW’s MLK Day recognition on Jan. 10 and 11. Powell is one of the most celebrated political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices in America. He is a poet, journalist and the author of 16 books. As an activist for human and civil rights, Powell’s efforts have also included an annual clothing drive for homeless youth in New York City; a leadership role in the movement to redefine manhood away from sexism and violence; a deep responsibility to mentorship and development of people of every age as agents for change; and a commitment to democracy, justice, diversity, inclusion and equality for the American people. To view Powell’s full biography, visit pnw.edu/mlk-celebration.

Powell will deliver his keynote, titled “Been to the Mountaintop: Dr. King and the Present and Future of Our World,” on Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. inside Alumni Hall in the Student Union and Library Building on PNW’s Hammond campus, 2233 173rd St., Hammond, IN. Powell will also provide his keynote on Jan. 11 at 9 a.m. inside the Great Hall at the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex on PNW’s Westville branch campus, 1401 S. U.S. 421, Westville, IN. Breakout community discussions will be facilitated following Powell’s keynote at both campuses.

On Jan. 15 the PNW campuses will be closed in observance of MLK Day. However, PNW students, faculty and staff are encouraged to “Take the Day ‘On’” by volunteering for a community service project in the spirit of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. PNW will help facilitate several community service activities that day.

Since 1992, Purdue University Northwest has partnered with the community to remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream and legacy of equity, inclusion and justice.

For a complete schedule of PNW MLK Day recognition events, registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit pnw.edu/mlk-celebration.