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Wide range of events slated for MLK celebration

Jan. 11, 2007

KALAMAZOO--High-profile guest speakers, a day of service, a slew of special presentations and a poetry slam are just some of the upcoming events honoring slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the campus of Western Michigan University and throughout the Kalamazoo community.

Eleven days of events will mark King's birthday beginning with the MLK Multicultural Celebration at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, at Miller Auditorium featuring guest speaker Dr. Zenobia Lawrence Hikes, vice president for student affairs at Virginia Tech.

Other events not on the WMU campus also will be in the spotlight, including a Communitywide Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 15, which will feature numerous volunteer opportunities; a march in King's memory from the Radisson Hotel to MLK Memorial Park on North Rose Street; and an MLK Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 21, at Galilee Baptist Church in Kalamazoo. That event, beginning at 4 p.m., will feature guest speaker Bishop Canute B. Blake, senior pastor at the Malton Church of God in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Blake formerly was superintendent of the Church of God in Canada and administrative bishop of the Eastern Canada Region, becoming the first black man in the history of the Church of God in Canada to hold those positions.

MLK Celebration Events at WMU

Sunday, Jan. 14

MLK Multicultural Celebration at 4 p.m. in Miller Auditorium, featuring guest speaker Dr. Zenobia Lawrence Hikes, vice president for student affairs at Virginia Tech.

Tuesday, Jan. 16

Presentation by Dr. Scott E. Page, professor of complex systems, political science and economics at the University of Michigan, at 7:30 p.m. in Fetzer Center's Putney Auditorium. Read more

Wednesday, Jan. 17

Education presentation, "Teaching about MLK and the Civil Rights Movement," from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Room 2304 of Sangren Hall. The session is dedicated to helping current and future teachers continue King's legacy by addressing civil rights, inequality, racism, poverty and world peace in their curriculum.

Thursday, Jan. 18

Audio presentation and discussion at 4:30 p.m. in the Lee Honors College Lounge. King made one appearance at WMU in 1963 to speak about social justice. This audio event will bring to life the words and message from King in his only appearance to WMU's campus. A panel discussion on the campus climate and attitudes at WMU in 1963 by those who were there will follow.

Poetry slam at 7 p.m. in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. Students, faculty and staff will showcase their lyrical talents by performing in a poetry and jazz event titled "On a Moment's Notice." Live jazz music will be performed by flutist, Galen Razzaq of Flute Juice Productions.

Friday, Jan. 19

Film viewing and discussion from noon to 2 p.m. in the Multicultural Center, Trimpe Building. The event will include the showing of the film "What's Race Got to Do With It?" First Year Experience students will facilitate a post film discussion.

Saturday, Jan. 20

Interactive workshop from 9 a.m. to noon in the Bernhard Center's Brown and Gold Room. Titled "Bridging the Gap: Women as Leaders," this interactive educational workshop provides tools, shares insight and builds networks, developing strong female leadership in politics, business and life.

Peace convention from10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kalamazoo Valley Community College's downtown campus. Kalamazoo citizens are invited to join together in the Kalamazoo CommUnity Convention for Peace and Justice in King's memory. In the spirit of finding non-violent solutions to problems, attendees will discuss the importance of changing priorities from war to the needs of the community. There is a $5 admission fee for this event.

Tuesday, Jan. 23

Panel discussion, "Avenues of Positive Change in the 21st Century: Inspiration from Martin Luther King Jr.," at 3:30 p.m. in Room 204 of the Bernhard Center. A panel of graduate students will explore Dr. King's approach to promoting positive change and the ethical implications of adapting his techniques to address the challenges of today. The program is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society.

Archaeological lecture at 4 p.m. in Room G0121 of Moore Hall. Titled "Archaeological Investigations at New Philadelphia, A Multi-Racial Agricultural Community in West Central Illinois," the lecture will shed light on New Philadelphia, which was founded in 1836 by a formerly enslaved African American. This lecture details the results of three years of archaeological fieldwork.

Education discussion from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Room 3103 of Sangren Hall. In this discussion, titled "Incorporating West African Content into Your P-16 Classroom," WMU faculty and public school educators will address critical gaps of knowledge on West Africa in curricula ranging from preschool to the college level.

Wednesday, Jan. 24

Discussion on MLK's views on war at 7 p.m. in the Bernhard Center's MLK Room. In this event, titled "War Is The Enemy Of The Poor: MLK on Peace and Justice," King's position on the Vietnam War will be analyzed as well as his view that war is an enemy of the poor.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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