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Variety of events pay tribute to King's legacy

Jan. 9, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Speeches, discussions, film presentations, artistic performances and a march are all on tap at Western Michigan University and across the Kalamazoo community starting Sunday, Jan. 13, during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Communitywide Celebration.

Events will be spread over nine days and continue through Monday, Jan. 21, the national holiday honoring the slain civil rights giant. The events, nearly all free and open to the public, are offered through a partnership between WMU, Kalamazoo College, the Northside Ministerial Alliance and the city of Kalamazoo.

Activities are highlighted by five key events: The MLK Kick-Off Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 13; the MLK Multicultural Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 20; and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, MLK Communitywide Day of Service and march to MLK Memorial Park, all on Monday, Jan. 21. The march begins at WMU's Kanley Chapel and proceeds to Kalamazoo College and the Radisson Hotel and Suites before ending at MLK Memorial Park on North Rose Street.

The theme of this year's celebration is "What King Wrought: Stand Up for Justice, Stand Up for Truth." Visit www.wmich.edu/mlk for more information.

MLK Celebration events

"MLK Kick-Off Celebration" at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at Galilee Baptist Church, 1216 N. Westnedge Ave. This inaugural worship service celebrates King's life and legacy and features Dr. Johnny Young, senior presiding bishop of the Church of God Pentecostal Inc. in Inglewood, Calif., as well as the 100-voice MLK Celebration Choir.

"Student Life in the U.S.: African Perspectives" from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, in Room 3301 of WMU's Friedmann Hall. Students from different African countries will speak about their experiences as students in the United States African student life.

"Martin Luther King: The Fierce Urgency of Now!" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, in the Olmsted Room of Kalamazoo College's Mandelle Hall. Dr. Grace Lee Boggs, an activist, writer and speaker with more than 60 years experience working in major U.S. movements, will reflect on her work with King.

"Keep the Justice Coming" at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15, in WMU's Bernhard Center. This movie on justice and action will move attendees to remember and learn more about social justice issues that were, and still may be present.

"Reading Together Kick-Off: What's Your Dream? Voices Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' Speech" from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, in the Van Duesen Room, Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose St. "Animal Dreams" by Barbara Kingsolver is this year's Reading Together book. Springing from the inspiration of the book's title, Reading Together encourages people to think about their own dreams.

"Poverty Simulation Workshop" from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the Douglass Community Association, 117 W. Paterson Ave. The Poverty Simulation workshop is an interactive and sensitizing experience in which participants actively discover the realities and effects of living in poverty.

"Candlelight Vigil Honoring United States Service Personnel and Veterans" at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, on the Stetson Chapel steps, Kalamazoo College. This event honors the men and women of the armed forces. Veterans and current service personnel attending will receive special recognition for their dedication to the country and its freedoms.

"Stand Up for Justice, Stand Up for Truth and Stand Against Hate: A Film Review and Discussion on Nooses as Symbols of Hate" from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, Room 1110 of the WMU's Multicultural Center. Glinda Rawls and Dr. Evelyn Winfield will show the film "Nooses-An American Nightmare" and facilitate a discussion about its relevance in light of recent events.

"Let's Talk About Race" from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17, Portage North Middle School, 5808 Oregon St. The workshop will expand on unintentional intolerance and its impact on staff, students and the larger community. The workshop will be facilitated by Crossroads, a non-profit Chicago organization dedicated to dismantling systemic racism.

"Third Annual Kalamazoo Promise Rally for Youth" at 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, at Galilee Baptist Church, 1216 N. Westnedge Ave.

"We Have a Dream" at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, in Miller Auditorium. WMU professor of theatre Dr. Von Washington will perform "New Morning for the World" by Joseph Schwantner with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. The concert will pay homage to King's life, and lobby displays will celebrate the Kalamazoo Promise. Tickets are available at a variety of prices through the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office and Epic Center Box Office. Call 387-2300.

"MLK Multicultural Celebration" at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, Miller Auditorium. WMU President Dr. John M. Dunn will be the keynote speaker for this event, which will also highlight the talents of local artists like WMU theatre professor Dr. Von Washington, Ujima and Ebony Vision Dance Troupes as well as the 100-voice MLK Celebration Choir.

"MLK Community-Wide Day of Service," registration begins at 7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at the Radisson Hotel and Suites, 100 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo. Projects completed by 2:45 p.m.

"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation" at 10:50 a.m., Monday, Jan. 21, in Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College. Kalamazoo College President Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran will speak on the theme "What King Wrought: Stand Up for Justice, Stand Up for Truth." Also featured will be the 100-voice MLK Celebration Choir.

Parade/march to MLK Park, beginning at 1:45 p.m., Monday, Jan. 21, at WMU's Kanley Chapel. The march will proceed to Kalamazoo College and then to Radisson Hotel and Suites, before ending at MLK Park.

Dispute resolution services will be provided from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at Gryphon Place, 1104 S. Westnedge Ave. to help people peacefully resolve their conflicts in a way that honors King's legacy.

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

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