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2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Dartmouth

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 01/13/09 • Media Contact: Susan Knapp (603) 646-3661

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Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie (photo courtesy Sherman Alexie)
Rev. James Lawson
Rev. James Lawson (photo courtesy of James Lawson)

To mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Dartmouth has planned a variety of events, lectures, films, and workshops from Jan. 18-Feb 2. All are open to the public, unless otherwise noted. This year, Dartmouth’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration explores the theme, Getting to the Mountaintop: Working Through Conflict Toward Reconciliation.

“All of Dartmouth’s events for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday highlight some aspect of diversity, tolerance, understanding, peace,” said Dartmouth President James Wright. “This year’s underlying theme of conflict and resolution resonates across campus and across the globe. I hope members of our community are able to attend as many of these events as possible.”

“The celebration provides an opportunity for the community to come together not only to celebrate the spirit and the vision of Dr. King but also to inspire us to follow his example,” says Holly Sateia, vice president for Institutional Diversity and Equity and co-chair of the 2009 celebration committee.

Events begin Sunday, Jan. 18, with a Community Faith Celebration in Rollins Chapel at 3 p.m. featuring an address by the Rev. James Lawson. A friend of and collaborator with Dr. King, Lawson was a chief advocate of non-violence in the American Civil Rights Movement, and he continues to work on issues of equality worldwide. He is a pastor emeritus of the Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, and he is currently in residence at Vanderbilt University as a visiting distinguished professor. “We are immensely blessed by the opportunity to have Rev. Lawson at Dartmouth,” said Richard Crocker, the Virginia R. Kelsey Dean of Dartmouth’s Tucker Foundation. “This is a man who changed American history. He remains vital, engaged, and dedicated to non-violence.” This event is open to the public.

Sherman Alexie will deliver the celebration’s keynote address on Monday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium in the Hopkins Center. An author, poet, and screenwriter, Alexie won a 2007 National Book Award for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Tickets to his address are free and will be available at the Hopkins Center Box Office beginning at noon on Jan. 13 for those with Dartmouth student, faculty, or staff ID, and beginning Jan. 15 for the general public. There is a two-ticket per person limit.

Also, on Friday, Jan. 30, the 2009 Martin Luther King Social Justice Awards will be presented to Kul Chandra Gautam ’72, former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and deputy executive director of UNICEF (the Lester B. Granger ’18 Award for Lifetime Achievement); filmmaker Ricki Stern ’87 (Ongoing Commitment Award); and Milton Ochieng’ ’04 and Fred Ochieng’ ’05, founders of the Lwala Community Alliance (Emerging Leadership Award). Dartmouth’s chapter of DREAM, a Vermont youth mentoring program, will also be honored.

Dartmouth’s 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee said, “Within these two weeks, as we witness the inauguration of Barack Obama as the president of the United States, we will be reminded of Dr. King’s dream for a time when one would be ‘judged not by the color of one’s skin, but by the content of one’s character.’ As we discuss a range of issues—civil rights and gay marriage, cultural competence in clinical interactions, examples of conflict and reconciliation, and some of the values that mean the most to us—we will be reminded still of his call for each of us to take part in making our community, our nation, and our world a better place for everyone.”

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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