Nikki Giovanni to speak at MLK Celebration

Tara Bailey

Nikki Giovanni, a distinguished poet, author, and English professor at Virginia Tech, will speak at the Performing Arts Center for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Jan. 18.

Since 2006, GS has hosted the MLK event and invited speakers to celebrate King’s life and legacy.

Takeshia Brown, the director of the Multicultural Student Center, shared why remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. is important.

“Dr. King was a principled leader who inspired others to become the best version of themselves through love, peace and acceptance. Without his bravery, sacrifice and moral obligation, our country would not be what it is today. While we still have some things in our society to improve, Dr. King left us a great example to follow,” Brown said.

Giovanni will present her speech, “The Right to Dream,” in remembrance of MLK’s life.

“We have the opportunity to hear from a truly great person who cares about people and is willing to share her feeling and experiences on life and the trials and joy of living in a unique and entertaining manner,” Teresa Thompson, the vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, said.

Brown also hopes that students will take something from this event.

“I hope that attendees will be compelled by Dr. King’s legacy and Ms. Giovanni’s words in a way that will lead them to be curious about other peoples’ cultures and to learn about the ways in which we can all work towards a more inclusive and socially just society wherein folks regardless of background have equal access and opportunity to participate in society,” Brown said.

The event will open to the public for free on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center.