10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Awareness Week

And the Band Plays On... | January 25-29, 2021

All events are open to the public. Sponsored by Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and College of Health & Human Sciences, these events are an important way to honor Dr. King’s teachings, celebrate how subsequent generations have put those lessons into action, and contemplate the work yet to be done.  

Remember that this year the College of Agriculture and College of Health and Human Sciences are partnering with the Hanna Center to support the Hanna's Center's important work with low-income youth and youth of color: If you choose to donate to the Hanna Center, please write "MLK Jr. Week" in the comments.

#PurdueAgMLK #PurdueHHSMLK


Monday-Event-Photo.jpg"John Lewis: Good Trouble"

Monday, January 25th, 2021 @12:00-1:40pm EST

Film Screening (100min)

Register to get the link to watch Dawn Porter's acclaimed 2020 documentary about the late John Lewis.  A Civil Rights Movement leader and congressman from Georgia, Lewis organized 1963's March on Washington, led the "Bloody Sunday" march from Selma to Montgomery, and inspired generations of American activists.  Join us for a discussion about the film on Monday.


Tuesday-Event-Photo.jpgBlack Trans and Queer Leadership in Civil Rights

Panelists: Romeo Jackson (they), Remy Thomas (they), Denarii Grace (she/they), Reg Flowers (they)
Moderator: Zac Brown (he), OMP Assistant Director
Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 @12:00-1:30pm EST

Panel Discussion (90min)

Communities facing the most severe marginalization can most clearly see the cracks in society that demand attention. However, history has rarely given them due credit for Civil Rights victories.  A virtual panel of Black trans and queer advocates will connect historical achievements to contemporary aims and offer suggestions for people to engage in racial justice movements.


A photo of Romeo, a Black trans femme person, sitting on a bench (out of frame) in a park.  They have a short, taper fade afro, Romeo Jackson (they/them/theirs) serves as the assistant director for Social Justice in Student Diversity at the University of Nevada, Los Vegas, supporting education, outreach, and mentorship efforts. Romeo is also a part-time instructor in Gender and Sexuality Studies at UNLV. Hailing from the southside of Chicago and the grandchild of Gracie Lee Fowler, Romeo is a first-generation, Queer, Non-Binary Femme, and a Black descendant of the estimated 11 million Africans who were kidnapped and sold into enslavement. Jackson is a feminist dedicated to intersectional justice and cross-movement building. Their research, writing, and practice explores Race/ism, Settler Colonialism, Gender, and Sexuality within a Higher Education Context with an emphasis on the experiences of Queer and Trans Students of Color. Jackson is committed to uplifting and empowering queer and trans people of color through a Black queer feminist lens.


A black and white photo of Remy, a Black, non-binary trans person with disabilities, from the chest up, who is sitting in front Remy Thomas (they/them) is a serial entrepreneur, artist, and mom friend. Their work centers on embracing the human condition to increase universal happiness. Currently, they are creating CAYA Productivity, a productivity booster based on positive psychology. 






Indoors (inside a vehicle), day. A photo of Denarii, a proudly fat, brown-skinned, Black non-binary woman in her early 30s. TheyDenarii Grace (she/they): New York–based social justice warrior Denarii (rhymes with ‘canary’) Grace is a bisexual, non-binary/agender, proudly fat, multiply disabled, poor, femme woman. She’s a blues singer-songwriter, poet, freelance writer/essayist/editor, ghostwriter, screenwriter, and public speaker/educator/activist. They were a non-fiction editor at The Deaf Poets Society, an online journal featuring literature and art by D/deaf and disabled people. Denarii’s activism mostly focuses on bi+ (plus) identity and issues, disability, Blackness, and fat acceptance; they also talk a lot about gender, class, colorism and other issues. Her activism today is primarily through their writing, music, and poetry, but she also has abundant experience in public speaking, moderating and participating in panels and webinars, and facilitating workshops, including as a featured speaker at the 2019 AfroPunk Solution Sessions in Brooklyn, New York. As a freelance writer, they have written for Bitch Magazine, Black Youth Project (BYP100), Brooklyn Magazine, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous, and The Establishment, among several others. She coined the term “exogender” to describe their (a)gender experience. It’s a term for Black people only. They also founded Fat Acceptance Month in January 2019. Their pronouns are she/they and, as demonstrated, she strongly prefers that people mix it up regularly, if one can remember to do so.


A photo of Reg from the waist up.  They are standing and wearing a blue suit looking confidently at the camera.Reg Flowers in Artistic Director of award-winning Falconworks Theater Company in NYC. They are an award-winning actor and producer. Reg is a foremost Theater of the Oppressed practitioner, currently co-president of the national organization of practitioners and educators, Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, Inc. They trained with the Navajo Nation in Peacemaking mediation. Reg serves on the faculty of Pace University in NYC and holds a masters in Theater from Yale University.



munson-2017-IMG_6176.jpgAlternatives to Policing: Systemic Harm Reduction that Saves Trans and Queer Lives

by michael munson (they/them)

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021 @12:00-1:30pm EST

Presentation (90min)

“Who you gonna call?”  Often, when people encounter noisy neighbors, a possible intimate partner violence altercation, a person sleeping on a park bench, a teen asking for money or food outside a store, a trans woman walking down the street at night, or a suicidal friend, their immediate response is to call the police.  Although most people believe they are being helpful, calling the police may escalate the situation and even result in death.  “Who you gonna call?”  Learn more about the ghosts of the past, outdated, and ineffective ways of addressing conflict, human diversity, and mental health challenges without engaging the police.  Participants will leave with practical, alternative, and harm-reduction strategies, that will literally save trans and queer lives.

About michael munson:

michael munson is the co-founder and Executive Director of FORGE, an organization focused on improving the lives of transgender individuals by building stronger connections, providing resources, and empowering growth through knowledge. FORGE is a national training and technical assistance provider funded through the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women and the Office for Victims of Crime.  Munson's educational background is in psychology, with an emphasis on trauma-informed care and non-traditional healing modalities.  His work on violence against transgender and non-non-binary individuals stresses the intersectionality between complex components of identity, experience, and societal constructs that can both spur violence, as well as catalyze healing for individuals and communities. He is passionate about engaging professionals to embrace these complexities and learn key skills to better serve their clients/constituents.


BIPOC Farmers in Sustainable Agriculture

Thursday-Event-Photo.jpgThursday, January 28th, 2021 @12:00-1:30pm EST

Forum (90min)

In America and around the world, farmers who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color face unique challenges in equitable access to grow food while practices environmental stewardship.  Representatives from Purdue Agriculture faculty, Purdue Extension's Urban Agriculture program, and Purdue's Center for Global Food Security will outline these challenges and potential solutions. This session is presented in conjunction with the Purdue Center for the Environment.In America and around the world, farmers who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color face unique challenges in equitable access to grow food while practices environmental stewardship.  Representatives from Purdue Agriculture faculty, Purdue Extension's Urban Agriculture program, and Purdue's Center for Global Food Security will outline these challenges and potential solutions. This session is presented in conjunction with the Purdue Center for the Environment.


Friday-Event-Photo.jpgCarrying the Movement Forward

Friday, January 29th, 2021 @12:00-1:30pm EST

Panel Discussion (90min)

The past, present, and future of social movements and Civil Rights advocacy unite in this virtual discussion featuring Purdue University students.  This panel will discuss the experiences that galvanized them toward action in advocacy, the issues with which they are engaging right now, and how platforms for advocacy and outreach are evolving.


Ag Alumni Panel

Thursday, February 4thth, 2021 @6:30pm EST

Panel Discussion

Join us for this final event in the MLK Jr. Celebration Week 2021 series for a discussion among College of Agriculture alumni as they discuss current events related to equity, inclusion, and sustainability in the field of Agriculture.