Next week, the country will celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Headlining the celebration at the University of Utah will be a speech by civil rights activist and Baptist Minister, Jesse Jackson.
Getting civil rights leader Jesse Jackson to Utah was no easy task. Just ask the University's associate vice president for equity and diversity, Octavio Villalpando.
“I have been extending an invitation to him for close to five years, trying to make schedules work and he is such a sought after, world renowned speaker that this year we just got lucky I guess."
Jackson, who worked alongside Martin Luther King, has spent the last 50 years working for peace, civil rights, and economic and social justice. Villalpando says he hopes Jackson’s visit will paint a picture for the community of how far this country has come.
“He is sort of a living historical figure that can address the importance of making sure that we all remain true to our convictions and our interests because there is progress that he can point back to and say we’ve been able to effect the way our society has improved our time and this is the way we’ve done it.”
Over 10,000 people are expected to attend the event at the Huntsman Center. The event will begin at noon, and will also be streamed live on the University of Utah’s website.