MLK celebrated with poetry

Elizabeth Bailey

Slam poet Bluz will be hosting and performing at Northern’s second annual open mic night in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday, Jan. 19.

In 2007 Bluz, also known as Boris Rogers, was ranked 13th in the world at the Individual World Poetry Slam held in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has also worked as the slam master and coach of SlamCharlotte, a competitive team of poets based in Charlotte, N.C.

Although Bluz is the main entertainer, all students are welcome to come and perform their own poetry. Natalie Avila, president of the Latino Student Union, welcomes students to just walk up, read their material and then leave, she said, and they don’t have to be there the whole night.

Peace, love, justice, unity and equality are just a few of the themes that might come up during the night. According to Avila, students should expect a lot of diversity in honor of MLK.

“We’re hoping students can honor Dr. King and his accomplishments through their poetry,” Avila said.

The event will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19 in the multi-purpose room located in the Woodland Apartments.

As MLK week comes to an end there will be a Unity Dance at 8 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Jan. 20 in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center.

“I believe it’s a good way to bring campus together,” Avila said. “Since a number of different organizations are co-sponsoring this dance, what better way to promote unity and diversity within the NMU community?
“It’s a way to have a good time while promoting diversity and Martin Luther King Jr.’s accomplishments.”

Radio X will DJ the event, that will be playing all kinds of music. According to Avila there will be mainly music that is common for students, however the DJ will also take requests.

“It will be a way for students to expand their horizons and hopefully step outside their comfort zone,” Avila said.

Both events were put together by a collaboration of student organizations, the Latino Student Union, Native American Student Association, Black Student Union, OUTlook, Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Center, Multicultural Education and Resource Center, as well as Prime Time Productions.

“We took this whole week to reflect on the great things that Martin Luther King Jr. did for us and our country,” said A.J. Lara, Jump Start graduate assistant. “So the dance is basically a celebration of all that.”