Black Voters Matter Co-Founder to be Keynote Speaker at OSU’s MLK Jr.


LaTosha Brown, a leader in national efforts to strengthen black political engagement and expand voter access, will be the keynote speaker at Oregon State University 40th Annual Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 17, 2022.

“LaTosha Brown’s nationally recognized work to advance civil rights and empower communities could not be more relevant or necessary in our current national context,” said Scott Vignos, Acting Vice President and Director of diversity at Oregon State. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Brown to OSU and to offer students, faculty and members of the community the opportunity to benefit from his expertise. “

Brown is the co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund and the Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute. These initiatives are designed to boost black voter registration and participation, as well as to increase power in predominantly black marginalized communities.

His opening speech is delivered at 11 a.m. at the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus in Corvallis. It will also be broadcast live. It is free to attend or watch virtually, but registration is required.

The opening speech will be preceded by a Peace Breakfast at 9 a.m. at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on the Corvallis campus. It celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and honors members of the OSU community who carry on the themes of his messages and work. Breakfast is free and open to members of the OSU community and guests. Registration is also required.

A march for peace will follow the opening speech. A tradition of OSU, the walk is an opportunity for community members to join in solidarity and reflect on King’s legacy of creating transformative change through non-violence. The walk will begin at 12:30 p.m. from the front patio of the LaSells Stewart Center and end at Memorial Union. No registration is required to participate in the walk.

Brown contributed to The New York Times opinion page and was a fellow of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

She also helps run a regional network called the Southern Black Girls and Women Consortium, a 10-year, $ 100 million initiative to invest in organizations that serve black women and girls. The consortium aims to create a new approach to philanthropy by enabling every component of the program, from start to execution, to be created by black girls and women from the South.

In addition to Brown’s remarks and other activities on January 17, this year’s OSU celebration includes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s annual Day of Service, led by the Office of Community Engagement. and university leadership, Jan. 15, and other virtual activities and in-person events on campus throughout this week.

This celebration is sponsored by Oregon State University, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the OSU Foundation, and the OSU Alumni Association.

All in-person events will follow local health and OSU guidelines related to COVID-19. As per university policy, proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of this event (in hard copy or electronic form) will be required for participation. In addition, face covers are required except when actively eating or drinking.

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