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Dec. 20, 2007
CONTACT: Pamela Young
734.487.4400
pamela.young@emich.edu

EMU's week-long celebration honors Martin Luther King's legacy

YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, 2008, with a weeklong celebration of discussion, performance, community service and a memorial march.

Events begin Thursday, Jan. 17, and are scheduled through the Monday, Jan. 21, President’s Luncheon, featuring keynote speaker Jeff Johnson, advocate for social change and BET’s “Cousin Jeff.”

Johnson will present “Unclaimed Legacy: Who Will Lead the Next Social Movement?” a discussion on the importance of finding new leaders to continue the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., Monday, Jan. 21, 10 a.m., in the Student Center Ballroom.

He is chief executive officer of the lifestyle consulting firm, Truth Is Power, based in Washington, D.C., and has served as national youth director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and as vice president of Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.

“Some of the leaders and social activists of the past are disconnected with much of America's youth,” said EMU senior Victor Walker. “Jeff Johnson brings a sense of value and legitimacy to the voice of the Hip Hop generation while sharing the messages consistent with those of yesteryear.”

The daylong celebration begins with breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by performances, the keynote address, lunch and breakout sessions through 3:50 p.m. A march to the Martin Luther King, Jr., bust near Welch Hall begins at 4 p.m. in the Student Center. An afterglow is set for 5 p.m. in room 300.

Tickets for the President’s Luncheon are $19 for students and $29 for general admission and may be purchased at the Ticket Office.

Additional events scheduled are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, Jan. 17

Kick-off Event, 4-6 p.m., Student Center, room 310B. Join in discussing Social Movements and the Globalization of the Hip-Hop Culture: Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere. This forum explores the effect of Hip-Hop on matters of race, gender and class.

Friday, Jan. 18

7th Annual Color of the Drums: Progress through Poetry, 8 p.m., Pease Auditorium.

The Poetry Society presents Life in the Pen: A Tribute to Social Justice featuring guest performers Gerrard Allen and the Rebirth Collective, and Diversion Dance Troupe. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Lock-In 2008, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Rec/IM. Recess is in Session features basketball, hustle and ballroom dance lessons, hopscotch, double dutch competition, jump rope and games of Spades. EMU identification required for entry.

Saturday, Jan. 19

Bowl-A-Thon, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Ypsi-Arbor Bowl. Enjoy competition and good company while raising funds for Washtenaw County’s Big Brothers / Big Sisters. Cost is $100 per team of five bowlers, which includes up to three games plus bowling shoes. Space is limited to the first 40 teams. To register, contact Cynthia Merritt at cynthia.merritt@emich.edu.

9th Annual Hip Hop Explosion, 7 p.m., Pease Auditorium. Take in a talent competition with performances that reflect the value and spirit of Dr. King. Entertainment provided by DJ MoBeats and diversion Dance Troupe. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 20

“Nothing Said…,” 4:30-7:30 p.m., Pease Auditorium. Enjoy a celebration of spirit and gospel with special guests Radical Praise, Joyful Children of Praise, God’s Hands of Praise, Mr. Freddie Featherstone, Jr., M.V.O.B. Ministries, Flames of glory Dance Ministry, Ekklesia Fellowship Ministries Praise Dancers, Victorious Life, and more.

Monday, Jan. 21 (MLK Day Celebration)

All events located in the Student Center unless otherwise noted.

Step, Song, Speech & Breakfast, 8-9:45 a.m. Mistresses of Ceremonies Patrice Suggs and Shanita S. Williams host the event. A speech will be given by Rachel Mims of the Poetry Society. Saxophonist Steven Mostyn will perform. Look and listen with Step MPHC Unity Step Team and Diversion Dance Troupe.  Lee and Nora Martin and Margaret Crawford will present the Trailblazer Award.

“Unclaimed Legacy: Who Will Lead the Next Social Movement, 10-11:30 a.m. Hear an motivating discussion on the importance of finding new leaders to continue the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by leading social and political activist, Jeff Johnson.

President’s Luncheon, 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom.

Deferred Dreams, Loans & Losses, Auditorium, 1:30 -1:50 p.m. A series of original pieces addressing racial inequality.

Concurrent events, 2-2:50 p.m.

For Young People: Stories from the Soul, Kiva Room. Stories from Haiti, Zululand, South Africa, and West Africa will fill the soul and minds of young children as they are transplanted across the globe. Participants are Drama / Theatre for the Young graduate students and Charlotte D. Sampson, graduate assistant for CSIE and MFA.

Understanding Diversity Through Storytelling, 350. A story that develops an understanding of diversity and differences with professional storytelling by LaRon Williams. Sponsored by the Kellogg-Fleming Advisory Committee.

Montage, Auditorium. The classic poetry of Langston Hughes is interpreted in a unique stage experience. Participants are Victor Walker and featured actors from across the EMU community.

A Different Conversation on Hip-Hop, 300. Round table discussion about the hip-hop artists who seek to portray the totality of the Black female experience in the United States. Participants are Dara Walker and Latoya Abraham, AAS undergraduates; Ahmed Logan, COE graduate student; and, Professor Dyann Logwood, of the Department of Women’s Studies.

African Americans, Women and the Civil  Rights Momvement, 330. This panel coordinated by the School of SocialWork will discuss the history of the policy change in America and the strained alliances between African Americans and women. What lessons does history have for the current presidential race; for eliminating competition for scarce resources, especially within universities; or, for rebuilding an alliance? Participants are Cynthia Edmonds, associate professor at Illinois State University; Derrick Jackson, assistant clerk, Washtenaw County; and, Sonia Ponce de Leon, school social worker, Caesar Chavez High School.

A Dream Deferred: The South African Case, 352. Based on the description of optimism for change in South Africa on the eve of the end of apartheid, a discussion of the betrayals of the post-apartheid dream and its major obstacles toward rogress. Participants are Joseph Engwenyu, department of history and philosophy, and graduate student Kalonji Ato.

A Silent Disease: Diabetes and the Black Community, 320. An informative discussion that looks at the causes, risks and preventions of diabetes within the African American community.  Sponsored by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Eric Ward of the Snow Health Center.

Concurrent events, 3-3:50 p.m.

The Trial of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his Co-Conspirators (1956), 301. In a reenactment of this volatile trial involving the Montgomery Bus Boycott, undergraduate students from the department of history will explore the inter-orkings of Jim Crow at the peak of its era. Participants are professor Mark Higbee and students from his History 315 course.

Community Book Discussion, Bookstore. A discussion of a collection of Langston Hughes poems in the text, Hughes: Poems (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poems). Facilitated by Latasha Hailey, AAS graduate assistant.

Stories That Can’t Wait, 350. Six Figures Playback Company improvisation based on shared stories of social justice, working for nonviolent resolutions, triumph and overcoming oppressions. Participants are Dr. Anita Rich and Six Figures Playback Theatre Company.

A Dream Deferred: The South African Case, 352. Based on the description of optimism for change in South Africa on the eve of the end of apartheid, a discussion of the betrayals of the post-apartheid dream and its major obstacles toward progress. Participants are Joseph Engwenyu, department of history and philosophy, and graduate student Kalonji Ato.

For Young People: Stories from the Soul, Kiva Room. Stories from Haiti, Zululand, South Africa, and West Africa will fill the soul and minds of young children as they are transplanted across the globe. Participants are Drama / Theatre for the Young graduate students and Charlotte D. Sampson, graduate assistant for CSIE and MFA.

A Different Conversation on Hip-Hop, 300. Round table discussion about the hip-hop artists who seek to portray the otality of the Black female experience in the United States. Participants are Dara Walker and Latoya Abraham, AAS undergraduates; Ahmed Logan, COE graduate student; and, Professor Dyann Logwood, of the Department of Women’s Studies.

Montage, Auditorium. The classic poetry of Langston Hughes is interpreted in a unique stage experience. Participants are Victor Walker and featured actors from across the EMU community.

March & Candlelight Walk, 4 p.m. Join the walk from the Student Center to the MLK bust near Welch Hall and back. Coordinated by Alpha Phi Alpha.Afterglow, 5 p.m., Student Center, room 300. Enjoy a post-march reception and an opportunity to mix, mingle and reflect on the week’s events and the life of Dr. King. Music provided by Johnny Lawrence.

Tuesday, Jan. 22,

Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later, Halle Library Auditorium, 4:30-7:30 p.m.  Film will be followed by discussion with panelists Dr. Victor Okafor, Dr. Marian Dokes-Brown and Dr. Deborah Harmon. Moderated by Dr. Dawn Pearcy. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, visit www.cot.emich.edu/mlk.

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