January 13, 2022

Dear CSU Community,

This coming Monday we will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday here in Fort Collins with an event made possible by partnership and collaboration—things that Dr. King himself worked hard to build into his work.  In our case, the partnership is between the City of Fort Collins, the Poudre School District, Front Range Community College, and Colorado State University.

Together, we invite all of you to meet at Washington Park in Fort Collins at 11 a.m., Monday, January 17. Together, we will then march to the Lory Student Center on a new route that  commemorates the Black families who put down roots in northern Fort Collins in the early 1900s.

We will march to commemorate the many marches that Dr. King participated in and led, in the face of often violent opposition. We will march to embody the action that our country still needs to take to achieve racial justice and preserve voting rights. And we will march together to demonstrate, through our unified action, the power that we have to effect change when we all move as one.

At the Lory Student Center, the event organizers have put together an incredible program, including music, spoken word, and brief remarks from community leaders. The highlight will be the opportunity to hear from Carlotta LaNier, who as a teenager was one of the first black students to attend Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. As a member of the group that became known as “The Little Rock Nine,” LaNier persevered in her high school career despite being met with terrifying violence.  She was the first Black woman to graduate from Little Rock Central.

Her story is still deeply resonant today—and still urgent.

I hope that everyone in our community will make plans to join CSU, Fort Collins, FRCC, and PSD Schools on Monday. Wear your walking shoes—and come prepared to keep moving forward in other ways too, by listening to Carlotta, by engaging with our shared community, and by committing to continuing the work that Dr. King modeled so powerfully half a century ago.



To learn more about the local events planned in honor of Dr. King, including schedule, how to volunteer, and the COVID precautions that will be in place, check out our MLK Day March and Celebration website.