EMU's Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration works toward making 'dream' reality

by Debra Johnson, Published January 07, 2010

YPSILANTI —“The Dream: [Insert Self Here]” is the theme for Eastern Michigan University’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Jan. 15-19. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, Jan. 18.

“We want people to be motivated into action – less talk, more action,” said Kay Woodiel, co-chair of EMU’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Committee and EMU’s director of diversity and community involvement. “Progress has been made toward Dr. King’s dream, but we know we still have work to do. It will require all of us, so insert yourself into the dream and get to work!”

Keith Boykin, editor of The Daily Voice Web site and a New York Times best-selling author, will give the keynote speech Monday, Jan. 18, at 10 a.m. at the Student Center Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Boykin’s address is entitled “Reaching Dr. King’s Dream in the Obama Era.”

Following Boykin’s speech will be the annual President’s Luncheon and the presentation of the MLK Humanitarian Awards at 11:45 a.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. Tickets are $19 for faculty and staff, $9 for students and are available by calling 734-487-2282.

One new event added to the event schedule for 2010 is the Student Video Competition. Students can enter by creating a two-minute video reflecting how King has impacted their life and what this year’s theme means to them. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship.

There are many free events open to the public. They include:

Jan.  15 -  Color of Drums performance, 7:30 p.m., Pease Auditorium. Hosted by the Poetry Society, this event commemorates King’s life through song, dance and spoken word.

Jan. 16 – Hip Hop Explosion, 7 p.m., Pease Auditorium. This competition will feature performances that reflect King’s value and spirit.

Jan. 17 – “From the Playing Field to the Front Office,” 7 p.m., Student Center Auditorium. EMU Athletic Director Derrick Gragg, Baseball Coach Jay Alexander and Women’s Basketball Coach AnnMarie Gilbert share their experiences in the ranks of Division I athletics.

Jan. 18 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) – In addition to the keynote speech and the President’s Luncheon, there are numerous academic sessions offered from 2-2:50 p.m. and 3-3:50 p.m. in various rooms of the Student Center. The sessions range from interactive discussions on “Racialized Role Strain in the Academy…” to “Stereotypes and Film.”

The CloseUP Theatre Troupe will perform at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Student Center Auditorium and there is a candlelight walk beginning at 5 p.m. at the Student Center.

An afterglow event at 5:30 p.m. at the Student Center closes the MLK Day schedule.

Jan. 19 – “Warriors Don’t Cry” is a book and film event featuring the works of Melba Pattillo Beals. Beals wrote the book “Warriors Don’t Cry” and the movie “Prom Night in Mississippi.” The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium.

For more information, go to the 2010 EMU MLK Web site at www.emich.edu/mlk/

Debra Johnson

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