Hickory – The Lenoir-Rhyne offices of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Multicultural Affairs will sponsor and host the university’s second annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Prayer Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in the Cromer Center on the Hickory campus. 

The keynote for the event is Jane Elliott, an internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence. She is known for her “blue eyes/brown eyes” exercise, which she first conducted with her third-grade class on April 5, 1969.

The event is free of charge and open to the public. Space is limited, so registration is strongly encouraged at https://calendar.lr.edu/event/2nd-annual-mlk-prayer-breakfast. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. The program begins at 8:30 a.m. 

The program for the breakfast, which lasts until 10 a.m., includes remarks from Avery Staley, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, Fred Whitt, Ed.D., university president, Terry Phillips, director for multicultural affairs and the LRU Inclusion Champions.

Community leaders in attendance will be members of the Hickory chapter of the NAACP, Greater Hickory Ministerial Alliance, Hickory area ministers and the MLK Awards Committee.

“The prayer breakfastgives us the opportunity to collectively experience the work of DEI on the campus of LR and throughout our communities. Having this legend, Jane Elliott, on our campus will be the highlight of my efforts to educate and strengthen the work of inclusion for all,” said Phillips.

The musical program directed by Ryan Luhrs, Ph.D., will include Kellie Medley, director of residential life, Walter Kennedy, area coordinator and coordinator of fraternity and sorority life in residence life, and community choir members.

At10:30a.m., after the breakfast concludes, participants may join the annual march organized and sponsored by the Hickory NAACP. The march will set off from P.E. Monroe Auditorium on the LR campus and make its way through Hickory to Ridgeview Recreation Center.

Public parking is available on campus by the Shuford Arena and Moretz Stadium complex and by Grace Chapel. A full campus map, including the surrounding area, is available at https://map.lr.edu.