PULLMAN, Wash. — Renowned civil rights leader Benjamin Hooks is the keynote speaker during Washington State University’s 14th annual program celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday evening, Jan. 17.

Hooks, of Memphis, Tenn., was a personal friend of King. He is a former executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Planned for Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum, the 7 p.m. public event will include other speakers, awards and music.

During the program, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Awards will honor some in the Pullman and Moscow area, including those associated with WSU and the University of Idaho, who have demonstrated commitment to racial harmony, equality and equity.

The traditional Unity March of campus and community members precedes the address. After marchers, including Hooks, gather on Terrell Mall in front of the Holland Library, the march begins at 6 p.m. and ends at the coliseum.

Banners — made by individuals and groups and carried during the march — will be judged based on messages focusing on social justice, racial harmony, equality and equity for all. Awards for winning banners will be announced and presented during the program.

King’s birthday, Jan. 15, is also the national, Washington and WSU Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. In Idaho, Jan. 15 is Martin Luther King Jr.-Idaho Human Rights Day and is a state and UI holiday.

WSU’s Office of Multicultural Students will hold its third consecutive food drive. It will be held from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Jan. 15 at Safeway in Pullman’s Wheatland Shopping Center. Donated items will go to the Pullman Food Bank.

For information on the program, contact Kim Proctor, 509/335-7852. For information on the food drive, march and banners, contact Herb Delaney, 509/335-5711.

tm104-01