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MEDIA ADVISORY: Mizzou Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Lecture from Renowned Civil Rights Activist

January 19th, 2016

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

WHAT: In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the University of Missouri is hosting civil rights and peace activist Diane Nash, who will present, “From Jail in Jackson to the Distinguished American Award: My Life as an Activist.”

WHO: Nash’s involvement in the civil rights movement began in 1959 while she was a student at Fisk University. In 1960 she became the chairperson of the student sit-in movement in Nashville, Tenn. and in 1961 she coordinated the Freedom Ride from Birmingham, Ala. to Jackson, Miss. In 1964 she was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to join a committee to promote the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Nash is the recipient of numerous awards, including the War Resisters’ League Peace Award, the Distinguished American Award, the LBJ Award for Leadership in Civil Rights and an honorary doctorate of human letters from Fisk University. Nash’s work also has been cited in numerous books, documentaries, magazines and newspaper articles and she has appeared on TV shows and films such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Spike Lee’s Four Little Girls, and PBS’s Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965.

WHEN: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20

WHERE: Missouri Theatre, 203 S. 9th Street, Columbia         

NOTE: The event is free and open to the public but tickets are required. Tickets are available at the MSA/GPC and Missouri Theatre Box Offices. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: No video or audio recording of the lecture will be permitted. Mrs. Nash will be available for media interviews prior to her lecture. Reporters must contact Nathan Hurst (, 573-882-6217) by 2 p.m. on Jan. 20 to ensure a ticket to the event and access to interview Mrs. Nash.