Jan. 26: Activist, youth leader to headline MLK celebration

By Steve Nakata, Administrative Services

charlene-carruthers-webPULLMAN, Wash. – Charlene A. Carruthers, a community organizer, writer and advocate for racial justice and feminism, will give the free, public , keynote address during Washington State University’s 30th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26 in the CUB senior ballroom.

Other MLK events at WSU will include a public square panel discussion on Jan. 19, “The Status of the Dream: Does Freedom Still Ring?” and a Foley Institute talk by Carruthers on Jan. 26. Find a schedule of events at http://mlk.wsu.edu. To watch the livestreamed version of the MLK celebration, click here.

Carruthers, 31, recently was recognized as one of the top 10 most influential African Americans by TheRoot.com, an online journal featuring African American politics, culture and society. Her speech is titled, “Building on the Dream: Continuing a Black Radical Tradition in the Movement for Black Lives.”

“I look forward to hearing from Charlene how our campus community can build on the dream and support student leaders in their work for social justice,” said Maria de Jesus, MLK planning committee chair.

Carruthers is known for her work in youth leadership development. She is national director of the Black Youth Project 100, an activist organization of 18- to 35-year-olds in the greater Chicago area dedicated to creating justice and freedom for African Americans.

Her passion for developing young leaders within marginalized communities has included work on immigrant rights, economic justice and civil rights campaigns nationwide. In 2015, she was among young activists who visited Palestine to build solidarity between black and Palestinian liberation movements.

“Her message brings an international lens that student leaders can learn from and use to implement change for their respective communities,” said Dixon.

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago where she resides, Carruthers received a master’s in social work at Washington University in St. Louis. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Reader, The Nation, Ebony and Essence magazines. She has appeared on CNN, Democracy Now!, BBC and MSNBC. She received the New Organizing Institute 2015 Organizer of the Year Award.


News media contact:
Maria de Jesus Dixon, WSU Culture and Heritage Houses manager, 509-338-9209, mdj.dixon@wsu.edu


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