2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration


The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration is the longest running annual event at Oregon State University focused on social justice and transformative change. 


  • Learn about and reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King and collaboratively envision ways to carry forward his work;
  • Participate in an impactful, inclusive and engaging celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King; and
  • Collaboratively learn about and reflect on the legacy of Dr. King in a way that is relevant in today's context.

Sponsored by Oregon State University, the Office of Institutional Diversity, and the OSU Foundation and Alumni Association.

Keynote Address: Jelani Cobb

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
7 p.m.
LaSells Stewart Center, Corvallis

The 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. keynote speaker is Jelani Cobb. The event is free and open to the public, and will be livestreamed.

Jelani Cobb is a staff writer at The New Yorker, writing on race, history, justice, politics, and democracy, as well as Columbia University's Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism and next Dean of Columbia Journalism School.

He recently co-edited The Matter of Black Lives, a collection of The New Yorker's most ground-breaking writing on Black history and culture in America, featuring the work of legendary writers like James Baldwin and Toni Morrison.

Commemoration Week Events

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service continues with a week-long series of events, including workshops, speakers, service opportunities and other community engagement events hosted by departments and units throughout Oregon State University. These events, envisioned by Oregon State community members to collaboratively learn about, reflect on and carry on the legacy of Dr. King, are an important part of the annual Commemoration.


Upcoming Events

Peace Breakfast

Monday, January 16, 2023
9 to 10:30 a.m.
CH2M HILL Alumni Center, Corvallis

The annual Peace Breakfast, held on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while honoring members of the Oregon State community who carry his message and work forward in the present. The Peace Breakfast is free and open to Oregon State University community members and specially invited guests. Advanced registration is required.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by Jan. 9 to University Events at 541-737-4717 or [email protected]

Thank you for attending - See you at he 2024 event!

Legacy Awards

Four legacy awards are awarded by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration committee – the Phyllis S. Lee Award, the Frances Dancy Hooks Award, the Oscar Humberto Montemayor Award and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alumni Legacy Award.

Congratulations to the 2023 recipients!

  • Oscar Humberto Montemayor Award: Nya Buckner
  • Frances Dancy Hooks Award: Dr. Janet Nishihara and Dr. Dana Sanchez
  • Phyllis S. Lee Award: Dorian Smith
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alumni Legacy Award: Dr. Keith Dempsey, '93, M.S. '96, Ph.D. '10


Award Information

Peace March

Monday, January 16, 2023
11 a.m. to Noon
CH2M HILL Alumni Center to Student Experience Center Plaza
An Oregon State University tradition, the Peace March follows the Breakfast and provides an opportunity to join in solidarity with community members and reflect on Dr. King’s legacy of creating transformative change through non-violence. Participants are led across the Corvallis campus on a 1-mile route, from the LaSells Stewart Center to conclude at the Memorial Union for speakers and community.

This event is free and open to the public. Participants are invited to bring signs enforcing Dr. King's messages of non-violence.