West Virginia University will commemorate 16th annual Martin Luther King Jr. activities with a luncheon speaker and an evening presentation on Thursday, Jan. 17. A Unity Breakfast, featuring the presentation of this years MLK Achievement Award, is set for Monday, Jan. 21.


On Thursday, civil rights activist Virgil Wood will discuss How Old Realities Become New through the Dream, from noon-2 p.m. in the Mountainlairs Mountaineer Room.


Dr. Wood is a noted church leader and educator who has devoted much of his life to the struggle for economic and spiritual development among the nations poor and disadvantaged.


During his pastorate in Lynchburg, Va., in the 1960s, he became active in civil rights, setting up Martin Luther Kings work at the Lynchburg Improvement Association, a local unit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He served with the conference for the last 10 years of Dr. Kings life and worked and coordinated Virginias historic March on Washington in 1963.


The luncheon is sponsored by The Sydney Banks Institute for Innate Health, the RobertC.ByrdHealthScienceCenters Office for Social Justice and the Center for Black Culture and Research.


To reserve a seat, go towww.hsc.wvu.edu/sbi/mlk.htm


On Thursday evening, Judy Richardson, co-producer of the acclaimed documentary Eyes on the Prize which chronicles Americas civil rights battles from the bus boycotts to the Freedom riderswill speak at 7 p.m. at the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church on Beechurst Ave.


Richardson, who also helped produce the film Malcolm X: Make it Plain, is noted for her long-standing civil rights work. She served as a staff member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the early 1960s, and worked on SNCC projects throughout the South, among other activities.


She currently lectures nationally about the civil rights movement and the making of Eyes on the Prize, andhas appeared on Nightline, Nightwatch and various new shows to oppose stereotypes of the African American community and the civil rights movement.


A Unity Breakfast will be held in the Mountainlair ballrooms at 8 a.m., Monday, Jan. 21, the national holiday commemorating Dr. Kings birthday.


Elizabeth Iglesias, a WVU professor of counseling in the College of Human Resources and Education, will speak at the event. The presentation of this years MLK Achievement Award and MLK Scholarship will follow.


The public is invited to attend the free breakfast, sponsored by the WVU Presidents Office, but advance reservations are required by calling 304-293-7029, ext. 110. In case of inclement weather, the breakfast will be held Friday, Jan. 25.


For more information on these events, call Phoenicia Keffer, 304-293-7029, ext. 110.