Staff Report

Under the theme, “The Path to Peace Begins With Me,” Florida International University’s (FIU) Department of Multicultural Programs and Services will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a month-long celebration inspired by King’s lifelong dedication to equality and peace.

One of the highlights will be the annual MLK Commemorative Breakfast, which will take place at 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, in the Graham Center Ballrooms at FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus (MMC), located at 11200 SW 8 Street in west Miami-Dade.

Immediately after the breakfast, at 11 a.m., university and student leaders will unveil a new Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Bust on the lawn between the Graham Center and Green Library. Ysmelio Lopez, from Cimagos Nursery, donated the sculpture to FIU, along with a similar one that will be located at Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC).

The breakfast keynote speaker will be Charles A. Bonner, author and trial lawyer who has dedicated his career to fighting to end discrimination and state judicial violence.

Bonner is a graduate of Sonoma State University and the New College School of Law in San Francisco.

His work in civil rights began in the early 1960s as a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, sitting-in at segregated public establishments, peacefully marching for equal rights and serving as president of the high school student SNCC activists.

Later he became the field director for SNCC’S voter registration project in Wilcox County, Alabama. He has been practicing law for more than 37 years and has been the lead attorney in close to 100 jury trials involving a variety of civil rights issues.

In 2010 he published his first novel, “The Bracelet,” heralded as the story that will end child sex slavery. Bonner currently represents more than 400 U.S. Sailors and Marines and is at work on a book about the largely overlooked participation of the children and teenagers in the Selma Civil Rights Movement.

Other FIU MLK Commemorative Celebration events include:

SATURDAY, JAN. 14 AT 9 A.M.: Approximately 700 FIU students will participate in the MLK Day of Service, volunteering at five service sites, and helping in projects that include painting, landscaping and general clean-up.

MONDAY, JAN. 16 AT 11 A.M.: FIU students, faculty, and staff will participate in the MLK Parade in Liberty City. The parade will run along Northwest 54th Street, from Northwest 10th to 32nd Avenue.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 18 AT 10 A.M.: The Youth Forum and Peace Walk will bring children from Miami-Dade County and Broward County schools to the Wolfe University Center Ballroom at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus for an inspirational discussion about achieving success and following the ideals of King in their everyday lives.

The keynote speaker will be LeToya Stairs, FIU alumna, accomplished communications professional, who is the creator and facilitator of “The Problem with Being First” workshop, and is also a former Miss Jamaica. This event is free and open to the public.

THURSDAY, JAN. 19 FROM 6-8 P.M.: Opening reception for MLK at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at MMC will boast a series of exhibits from photographer Edward West featuring the lives of Black South Africans during the period of societal transformation. The exhibit runs from Jan. 19 through Mar. 30. Admission to the museum, the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

THURSDAY, FEB. 2 STARTING AT 9 A.M. at the MARC Pavilion: Lee Mun Wah will facilitate a seminar titled: ‘An Unfinished Conversation’ that comprises a four-part presentation. This seminar is a collaboration between the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services MLK 2017 Celebration and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). The event is free and open to the public.

For more on FIU’s MLK Commemorative Celebration, visit