MLK Day celebration set for Jan. 21; donations of toiletries sought

MLK March 2017 in Fort Collins

The Fort Collins and Colorado State University community will hold its annual march and celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 21. The theme of the celebration is “Be the Catalyst.”

Beginning at 11 a.m. at the stage in Old Town Square, the MLK Day Charge will be followed by the traditional March to the Lory Student Center on campus. March leaders will lead participants south on College Avenue, turn west onto Laurel Street, and head south through the CSU Oval and into the Lory Student Center. In the main ballroom, guests will be treated to a musical performance, followed by remarks from keynote speaker Fleurette (Flo) King, the principal consultant of Thriving Inclusion.

To understand individual and collective responsibility, participants will then break into small groups to engage in conversation about topics ranging from affordable housing and the arts to interfaith coalition, education and food insecurity, as well as much more that relates to accessibility, equity and inclusion for all. Organizers hope that people will leave the event with a renewed sense of focus and purpose.

Tentative agenda

  • 9 – 10:30 a.m. Community Service Project (Lory Student Center, Room 382)
  • 10:30 – 11 a.m. Transportation to Old Town for those who took part in the Community Service Project
  • 11 a.m. – noon MLK Charge and March (Old Town)
  • Noon – 1 p.m. Keynote & Entertainment (LSC Ballroom)
  • 1 – 2 p.m. Community Dialogues, including Community Service Project continuation (throughout LSC – refreshments will be provided for those engaging in community dialogues)
  • 2 – 2:30 p.m. Closing

The community dialogues will be designed with everyone from elementary students to senior citizens in mind, since all have a role in making Fort Collins a truly a great place to live for everyone.

Community service

In partnership with Homeward Alliance, there will be a couple of opportunities to take part in community service before and after the March, giving people the opportunity to “Be the Catalyst” even before MLK Day.

Participants may donate travel-size toiletry items (see list) for distribution to members of the community experiencing homelessness; the main drop-off location is the LSC information desk (8 a.m.-5 p.m. through Jan. 20). Donors may also bring their items to the celebration on Jan. 21. Those interested in helping sort donated items on Jan. 21 are asked to arrive at the Lory Student Center, Room 382, by 9:30 a.m. for a brief presentation.

Toiletry items

(preferably travel size, but all donations accepted)

  • Diapers
  • Socks
  • Disposable razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Individual size and prepackaged non-perishable snacks

About the speaker

Fleurette King portrait

Flo King, principal consultant of Thriving Inclusion, has demonstrated innovation and achievement in diversity, equity and inclusion policies since 1993. She continues to present best practices, policies and award-winning models at regional and national conferences, including events related to the True Colors Conference, Amnesty International-Midwest, American College Personnel Association, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Creating Change Conference, White Privilege Conference, and National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in Higher Education. King has held full-time appointments at Loras College, DePaul University, Princeton University, the University of Michigan, the University of Connecticut and the University of Northern Colorado. She has an M.A. in sociology from DePaul University and a B.A. in sociology with a minor in ethnic studies from Bowling Green State University. King was a recipient of the 2015 Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Sisterhood Award, the 2016 Dorothy Award and the 2016 GLAD Award. She enjoys racquetball, travel documentaries, social movement history and spending time with her partner, friends and family.

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March and Celebration takes place in collaboration and partnership with many community organizations. The day is used to celebrate the life and legacy of King, remind community members of progress made and, more importantly, come together to work toward equity and justice for all.

Visit to volunteer for the event or learn more. Questions can be sent to Ali Raza at