Nikki Giovanni coming to Tallahassee for FSU MLK Celebration

Nikki Giovanni
Posted at 10:26 AM, Jan 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-16 06:01:22-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Nikki Giovanni, a world-renowned poet, writer, activist and educator, will deliver the keynote address at the highlight of Florida State University's 25th Annual MLK Week.

Early in Giovanni’s career she was dubbed the “Princess of Black Poetry,” and over the course of more than three decades of publishing and lecturing, she has come to be called both a “National Treasure” and, most recently, one of Oprah Winfrey's 25 “Living Legends.” The author of about 30 books for both adults and children, Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

Giovanni will speak during the annual Commemorative Celebration, which is just one of several events planned for the week leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. day. The theme for the week long festivities is "Living the Dream, Being the Legacy." It will span from January 14-January 21.

The Commemorative Celebration, which is sponsored by the Student Government Association and the Golden Tribe Lecture Series, is free and open to the public. It will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, and it will take place in the Oglesby Union Ballrooms of Florida State University.

In addition to Giovanni’s address, the Commemorative Celebration will feature student performances, an announcement of the MLK Book Stipend scholarships, and the presentation of the 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King Distinguished Service Award. The award honors a university employee who has rendered outstanding service in keeping with the principles and ideals of King. The award carries a $1,000 stipend.

A Freedom March, hosted by the Florida State University chapter of the NAACP, will precede the Commemorative Celebration. It will begin at 11 a.m. at the university’s Integration Statue and proceed to the Oglesby Union Ballrooms for the celebration. In addition, 10 students from six Leon County high schools will be on campus from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to participate in interactive workshops, mentoring opportunities, the Freedom March and the celebration.

A “dinner dialogue” will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, to provide students, faculty and staff an opportunity to interact with Giovanni in an informal atmosphere. This event is sponsored by FSU’S Center for Leadership and Social Change and the Seminole Torchbearers. Registration is required, and space is limited. For more information and to register, visit