MLK Celebration Update

Delaware’s Jan. 16-17 Martin Luther King Jr. Programs Being Moved Online

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, Ohio – To help support everyone’s health and safety, the Delaware County Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee and Ohio Wesleyan University are moving all Jan. 16-17 MLK programming online. The virtual events will explore “Why We Can’t Wait” in the journey for racial justice.

The 2022 events will kick off at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, with an online panel discussion of the film “FUNDI: The Story of Ella Baker.” The free event will focus on the erasure of Black women, such as Baker, from the Civil Rights Movement. Baker has been called the “godmother of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.”

Scheduled panelists are the Unity Community Center’s Karriejoi Coit, executive director, and Ruchelle Pride, president of the Board of Directors, and Ohio Wesleyan’s Brianna Mack, Ph.D., assistant professor of Politics and Government; Antron Mahoney, Ph.D., assistant professor of Africana, Gender, and Identity Studies; and Anna duSaire, student and member of the Black Student Union.

The film will not be screened as part of the panel discussion but is available from many libraries or may be rented online at icarusfilms.com/if-ell1. Registration is required for the online Zoom discussion and may be made by visiting owu.edu/MLK.

On Monday, Jan. 17, the 29th annual MLK Celebration program will debut at 11 a.m. on Ohio Wesleyan’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OhioWesleyanUniversity. The “Why We Can’t Wait” event will feature TED Talk-style presentations from Nicole Jackson, Ph.D., associate professor of History at Bowling Green State University; Tamika Vinson-Reid, co-chair of the Delaware African American Heritage Council, and Charles Montgomery, Ph.D., campus pastor and teaching pastor at Vineyard Columbus. They will discuss topics including how Diane Nash and Bayard Rustin worked with King during the Civil Rights Movement.

Though both events are free, contributions are being accepted to support the Delaware County MLK Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than $34,000 to Delaware City and County high school students since 1990. This year’s recipients are Allison Sawmiller – University of Cincinnati, Telijah McCollum – The Ohio State University, and Amaya Rojas – Ohio Wesleyan. All will be recognized during the Jan. 17 online program.

Contributions may be made via Eventbrite at bit.ly/309s4Km or may be mailed to the MLK Celebration Committee in care of the Ohio Wesleyan Chaplain’s Office / MLK Celebration, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware, OH 43015.

For more information and the latest program updates, visit owu.edu/MLK.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature program, The OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at owu.edu/experts or learn more at owu.edu.