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BSU to celebrate life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

BEMIDJI -- BSU will celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday with a film screening, a day of service and an open house for its new Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion during a series of events on campus beginning Thursday, Jan. 11.

BSU will unveil its new Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at a Thursday, Jan. 11, open house, which will include an opportunity to meet the center’s newly hired coordinator, Dr. Brian V. Xiong.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the center begins at 3:30 p.m.; the center is located in the upper Hobson Memorial Union near the information desk. The ceremony leads into a 4 p.m. presentation in the Beaux Arts Ballroom featuring readings by members of the Bemidji Boys and Girls Club, a reflection on King’s life by Dr. Jesse Grant, BSU’s interim dean of students, and a performance by the BSU choir.

The Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a student-driven initiative. BSU’s Student Senate passed a bill to develop the center in February 2016, and renovation of space in the Hobson Memorial Union to create a home for the center began in November.

“The vision for the center is that it become a collaborative space for the BSU and Bemidji communities where equitable treatment of all identities and experiences is understood, appreciated and facilitated through workshops and programming activities,” said Eshfaq “Ash” Ullah, BSU Student Senate president.

Dr. Brian V. Xiong was named coordinator of the center on Dec. 19, and his role officially begins Monday. He has previously served as chief diversity officer at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead.

A screening of a documentary film on the life of Dr. King begins at 7 p.m. in the American Indian Resource Center. The film screening is free and open to all.