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Community stages memorable tribute to MLK

Jan. 8, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College are again joining forces with the Northside Ministerial Alliance and the city of Kalamazoo to stage a series of events beginning next week honoring slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Events kick off Friday and Saturday, Jan. 15-16, at both institutions of higher learning, followed by the Northside Ministerial Alliance MLK Community Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 17, and the city's Communitywide Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 18. Other events include a march to MLK Park, educational sessions, film presentations, panel discussions and a "diversity lock-in."

The theme of this year's communitywide celebration is "The Strength to Love."

"This year's theme, 'The Strength to Love,' is exemplified in this community by the outpouring spirit of giving, from the Kalamazoo Promise, to the United Way campaign and more," says Dr. Martha Warfield, WMU associate vice president of diversity and inclusion. "Our community is stronger as a result of our collaborations, our caring for each other through good times and tough times, for the well-being of everyone in this community. The observances of Dr. King's birthday, planned for this year, include all segments of our community, education, health care programs and the city. That is how we define Dr. King's legacy of the 'the strength to love.' "

The annual observance honoring King brings the community closer together and offers communitywide opportunities, says Tony Dennis, MLK Committee chairman.

"The 2010 MLK Celebration gives everyone in the community an opportunity engage in programs and activities that reflect the life and spirit of Dr. King," Dennis says. "Our aim is to stimulate the mind and spirit within our community in a way that reflects the life and legacy of Dr. King. All of us working together will make a difference."

For more information on this year's communitywide MLK celebration, visit wmich.edu/mlk.

2010 MLK Celebration
Schedule of events

  • MLK Chapel Service
    Friday, Jan. 15, 11 a.m.
    Kalamazoo College, Stetson Chapel, 1200 Academy St.
  • MLK Celebration and Public School Students Visitation Day
    Saturday, Jan. 16, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    East Ballroom of the WMU Bernhard Center--This event will feature guest speaker Dr. Lee Jones of Florida State University and president and CEO of Inspire Magazine. Registration begins at 10 a.m.
  • Northside Ministerial Alliance MLK Community Celebration
    Sunday, Jan. 17, 4 p.m.

    Galilee Baptist Church, 1216 N. Westnedge Ave.--This event will feature guest speaker the Rev. Dr. Otha Gilyard, former president and founder of the alliance.
  • Communitywide Day of Service
    Monday, Jan. 18, 7:30 a.m.

    Kalamazoo City Hall, 241 W. South St.--Volunteer activities offered at local service organizations. Registration requested.
  • MLK Convocation Service
    Monday, Jan. 18, 10:50 a.m.

    Stetson Chapel, 1200 Academy St.
  • Poster Making Party for MLK March
    Monday, Jan. 18, 2:30 p.m.

    WMU Bernhard Center and Kalamazoo College Student Center--Students are encouraged to come early and make posters and signs prior to march.
  • Parade/March to MLK Park
    Monday, Jan. 18, 3:30 p.m.

    March begins at 3:30 p.m. at the WMU Campus Flagpoles near Kanley Chapel. It will arrive at the corner of Thompson and Academy streets at 4 p.m., and the corner of Rose Street and West Michigan Avenue at 4:30 p.m., before continuing to MLK Park.
  • Dialogue circles, "Love is the Seventh Wave"
    Monday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m.

    Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo, 2101 Wilbur Ave.
  • Lecture, "Teaching About Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement"
    Thursday, Jan. 21, 4 to 5:30 p.m.

    Room 2302 of WMU's Sangren Hall
  • Film presentation, "American Experience: Citizen King"
    Thursday, Jan. 21, 6:30 p.m.

    Room 3025 of WMU's Brown Hall--The PBS film pushes past the myths that have obscured King's story to reclaim the history of a people's leader and will be followed by discussion.
  • Panel discussion, "Family Contributions to Risk and Resilience in African American Children"
    Thursday, Jan. 28, 6 to 8 p.m.

    Park Place Counseling & Associates PLC, 157 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 250
  • Campuswide Diversity Lock-in
    Friday to Saturday, Jan. 29-30

    WMU Student Recreation Center--Lock-in begins at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, and ends at 5 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30.
  • Lecture, "Why Are People Gay? And Why it Matters"
    Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.

    Putney Auditorium, WMU Fetzer Center
  • Lecture, "A Day in the Life: A Closer Look at the Daily Tasks of Students and Alumni with Disabilities"
    Thursday, March 25, 7 to 9 p.m.

    WMU Bernhard Center

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

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