Indiana State University Newsroom

Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute founding director to speak at annual dinner

December 2, 2016

The centennial professor of history and Ronnie Lott founding director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University will give the keynote address at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Commemoration Dinner on Jan. 20 hosted by the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center at Indiana State University.

"Clayborne Carson worked with Mrs. King before her death and had firsthand access to the letters of Dr. King," said Brice Yates, director of the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center. "He is influential and knowledgeable of Dr. King's life, and I think his message will resonate with the audience."

Carson has dedicated his life to the movement King started, including participation in civil rights and antiwar activism as an undergraduate at the University of California-Los Angeles, and he translated his experiences into several publications.

In 1985, the late Coretta Scott King invited Carson to direct a long-term project to edit and publish King's speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications and unpublished writings. Under Carson's direction, the King Papers Project has produced seven volumes of "The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr." In 2005, Carson founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute to endow and expand the work of the King Papers Project.

Carson has participated in several television, film, theater and literary projects surrounding King's life and legacy. He also taught at the UCLA, the University of California-Berkeley, American University, Emory University, Morehouse College and l'école des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. He has lectured throughout the United States and around the world, including China, India, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Jamaica, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and France.

"This will be a good time to discuss the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and reflect on Dr. King's work and message of social justice, change, respect and civility, and I hope it helps people see that we are still a country that values civil discourse and positivity," Yates said.

The event, which will be held in the Sycamore Banquet Center at Hulman Memorial Student Union, will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7 p.m. The dress is professional attire. Parking will be available in the visitor's pay lot on the corner of Fifth and Chestnut streets.

Tickets for the dinner are $35 for an individual seat or $280 for a table of eight. Reservations can be made by calling Julia Brice at 812-237-3811 by Jan. 13, 2017.

Contact: Brice Yates, director, Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center, Indiana State University,

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or