Saginaw Valley State University has partnered with regional businesses, chambers of commerce and community foundations to work together to host a celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The sixth annual Great Lakes Bay Regional event will feature a peace march, keynote speaker and scholarship award ceremony.
As part of the regional celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, members of the university community are invited to participate in a Unity March and Luncheon on Monday, Jan. 20 in downtown Saginaw.
The march will begin at 10 a.m. at the corner of Franklin Street and Hayden Street in downtown Saginaw and will proceed to the Dow Event Center. There will be remarks about Dr. King and his life’s work at the end of the march. There is no cost to attend the march and no need to RSVP.
Participants can receive a knit cap/headband or scarf to wear as they represent SVSU, provided by University Communications at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. To request the SVSU attire, please contact University Communications at (989) 964-4039.
Volunteers in the march can also participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Luncheon on Monday at 11 a.m. at the Dow Event Center’s Unity Hall. The luncheon will include an awards ceremony recognizing leaders in the Great Lakes Bay Region communities. SVSU's Office of Diversity Programs has purchased several tickets for the luncheon. Individuals interested in attending the luncheon can request those tickets for free (they typically cost $40) by contacting the Office of Diversity Programs at (989) 964-4068.
The Great Lakes Bay Regional MLK Celebration invites you to a special movie screening of "Hidden Figures," followed by a fireside chat with this year's keynote speaker, Ruth D. Jones, Ph.D. Free popcorn and drink available for attendees!
Movie Synopsis: Three brilliant African-American women at NASA -- Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) -- serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.
Ruth D. Jones, Ph.D.
Branch Chief for Industrial Safety Branch
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Dr. Ruth D. Jones is the Branch Chief for Industrial Safety Branch at NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Dr. Jones directs and manages Safety and Mission Assurance functions and activities in support of Marshall Space Flight Center's institutional operations.
Jones is a trailblazer. She became the first woman to receive a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 1994. Six years later, she was the second African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in physics in the state of Alabama when she graduated from Alabama A&M University. In her career, Jones thrived in an industry where professionals rarely looked like her. Many of her peers are male. And most are white.
Lauded as one of NASA’s Modern Figures, Jones travels the nation as a motivational speaker in hopes of inspiring youths to seek careers in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. She also wants to serve as a role model for other women and minorities.
“No matter what your color is, no matter what your gender is, what matters is what’s in your head,” she said in a 2017 interview. “For the ones who made it out and have good jobs, we need to go back to those communities and serve as role models to show those students that STEM is the way to go.”
During her career, she received awards including the Center Director’s Commendation honor from Marshall Space Flight Center and Glenn Research Center as well as the Extraordinary Achievements in Aerospace Engineering award presented by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Jones provides scholarships to students active in her home church, First Baptist Church, in West Helena, Arkansas. She also hosts a “Science Day” at the schools she attended before college.
Office of Diversity Services
MLK Regional Celebration