2019 MLK Celebration

2019 MLK Celebration

MLK Celebration with photo of MLK Jr.

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”                                                                       —Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center held the 47th Annual MLK Celebration on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King.

Related: Watch 2019 MLK Celebration video

This year’s speaker, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, is a Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, author, a contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, an MSNBC political analyst, a contributing editor at New Republic, the host of the Michael Eric Dyson Podcast Featuring Dr. Dan Ratner, and an ordained Baptist minister. Dr. Dyson has authored nearly twenty books and has won two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work in Non-Fiction and the American Book Award in 2007. His latest book, What Truth Sounds Like, was the winner of the 2018 Southern Books Prize for nonfiction.

A candlelight vigil by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Chapter was followed by the African American Voice Gospel Choir singing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” along with a special musical feature with Nadiem, a fourth year Young Scholar. Larry Williamson, director of the Hale Center, welcomed attendees to the event. Welcome was also given by Dr. James L. Moore, vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, vice president for Student Life.

The 2019 MLK Memorial Scholarships were presented to four remarkable undergraduates whose careers includes providing leadership and service to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the university community.  Established in 1970, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Scholarship is a full merit-based scholarship awarded to students who are junior rank or above with preference given to African-American students. 

Now funded by Ohio State’s Campus Campaign, this year, the scholarship was awarded to Leona Bell, Tomara Dorsey, Donovan Hampton, and Bryson McEachin, who also received the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. T.E.N.A.C.I.O.U.S. Scholarship, presented by Mrs. Shanise N. Kimbrough, Assistant Principal, Columbus Public Schools.

After a tribute to Aretha Franklin by Tomi Jones and the Christopher Brown Trio, Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries, an associate professor in the Department of History, introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Dyson.


The 2019 MLK Celebration was sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center in collaboration with Columbus State Community College. The event was supported by the Student Life Multicultural Center, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Kappa Chapter and Radio One.