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Diversity expert highlights MLK celebration events

Dec. 1, 2005

KALAMAZOO--A presentation by a nationally known diversity expert and an informational gathering for area minority students and their parents will be the featured events during Western Michigan University's annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration Sunday, Jan. 15.

WMU's celebration is part of a series of free, public events being held locally throughout January 2006 to honor King's life and legacy. A complete list of these events will appear online at www.wmich.edu/mlk as they become available.

This year's series revolves around the theme "Recovering a Lost Dream: Community, Faith and Vision" and, for the fourth consecutive year, is a collaboration of the MLK celebration committees sponsored by WMU and by Kalamazoo's Northside Ministerial Alliance.

The focal point of the University's MLK commemoration is the two events on Jan. 15, which is the slain civil rights leader's birthday.

First up will be Campus Community Day from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom. This casual, informative gathering is for greater Kalamazoo area minority students and their parents. It will include a luncheon and is being organized by WMU's Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Those attending will learn about the wide variety of academic programs WMU offers and the many activities and services it makes available to area residents. They also will be able to experience interactive educational displays and meet with administrators and current students.

There is no charge to attend WMU Campus Community Day, but reservations are required. To make a reservation, call (269) 387-3315 by Jan. 9. Parking will be available near Miller Auditorium, and shuttle buses will be on hand to transport attendees to the Bernhard Center as well as back to Miller Auditorium for the University's Multicultural Celebration at 4 p.m.

The Multicultural Celebration will feature a public talk by Frank H. Wu, dean of the Wayne State University Law School. Wu speaks frequently on diversity issues and is widely known for his book "Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White" and for the book "Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment," which he co-wrote.

Wu became dean of the WSU Law School in his home town of Detroit in 2004 after having served on the Howard University law faculty since 1995. His background also includes stints as an adjunct professor at Columbia University, a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, and a teaching fellow at Stanford University.

A former civil attorney, Wu earned his bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1988 and his juris doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School in 1991. His writing has appeared on a professional basis in such periodicals as the Washington Post, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Chronicle of Higher Education, Legal Times and Asian Week.

Additionally, Wu has hosted episodes of the Public Broadcasting System's syndicated television show "Asian America" and has appeared on National Public Radio and Voice of America as well as on a variety of television programs, including "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Now" with Bill Moyers, The "NewsHour" with Jim Lehrer, "The O'Reilly Factor," "Booknotes" with Brian Lamb, and "Talk Back Live."

Prior to his academic career, Wu held a clerkship with the late U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti in Cleveland and was a member of a San Francisco law firm, where he concentrated on complex litigation and devoted a quarter of his time to representing indigent individuals.

He served briefly by appointment of the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals on this court's Board of Professional Responsibility, which adjudicates attorney discipline matters, as well as served two terms on hearing committees of the board. He also was appointed by Washington's mayor to serve as 2001-02 chairperson of the D.C. Human Rights Commission, and in 2004, joined the Board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund.

Wu is a trustee of Gallaudet University, the only university in the nation primarily for the deaf and hard of hearing; a fellow of the American Bar Foundation; an elected member of the American Law Institute; and a member of the Committee of 100, a civic group founded by Yo-Yo Ma and I.M. Pei, among others, to promote Asian American political participation.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400