WMU News

Rap artist Chuck D featured speaker for MLK Week

Nov. 27, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Described as "the conscience of rap" and an outspoken proponent of sharing music over the Internet, Chuck D will be the keynote speaker for Western Michigan University's celebration of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

Chuck D, cofounder of the rap group Public Enemy, will be the featured speaker during the MLK Convocation, scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, in University Arena. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

As a musician, journalist and social activist, Chuck D has been vocal about a number of issues, including race, rage and inequality. As the leader of Public Enemy, Chuck D rode out a storm of controversy over lyric content and the right to free speech in music. A fighter for the art of rap and hip-hop, he has publicly embraced file sharing and the Internet, weighing in as a proponent of Napster and similar music-sharing enterprises. In further support of the effort, he launched Rapstation.com, a Web site for the "global hip hop community."

In addition, he is involved in a number of national organizations and has served as a spokesperson for "Rock the Vote," the National Urban League, and the Partnership for a Drug Free America.

Sponsored by WMU's Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, the Campus Activities Board, the Keystone Leadership Society, James W. Miller Auditorium and the Lewis Walker Institute for Race and Ethnic Relations, Chuck D's address is just one of many events scheduled at WMU to observe the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

For more information, contact the Lewis Walker Institute for Race and Ethnic Relations at (616) 387-2141or visit WMU's MLK committee Web page at <www.wmich.edu/mlkday>.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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