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MLK Celebration Honors Diversity

Rev. James Forbes is keynote speaker

"Between Heaven and Hell" is the theme this year for Dartmouth's annual celebration to honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  A series of events that address the intersections of religion, politics, and civil rights will take place between January 11 and February 6.

The keynote speaker is the Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., senior minister of the Riverside Church in New York City and noted interfaith advocate. He will speak on "The Source, Scope and Spirit of the Dream" on January 16 at 7 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins Center. Tickets for those with a Dartmouth ID will be available at the Hopkins Center box office starting January 10. Tickets for the general public will be available beginning January 12. Tickets are free and limited to four per person.

For more than 20 years, Dartmouth has arranged a program to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year's program includes 30 events including guest speakers, arts performances, discussion panels, and film screenings. Ozzie Harris, chair of the MLK Celebration Committee, addressed the meaning of the program, saying, "While the week is marked as a celebration, we recognize Martin Luther King, Jr.'s sacrifice and the sacrifice of others, many unknown, in their commitment to social justice."

On January 16, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., the Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity will screen a continuous presentation of King's May 23, 1962 speech at Dartmouth "Towards Freedom." The multimedia presentation, which includes audio from the original speech, will be presented in its original venue, 105 Dartmouth Hall.

Other events include performances by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and a lecture by Professor of History Annelise Orleck, author of Storming Caesars Palace, her recent book about how a group of mostly African American mothers living in poverty brought their fight to the casinos of Las Vegas and eventually to the U.S. Congress. The Hon. Rev. H. Carl McCall '58, chairman of the Higher Education Conference Board, board member of TYCO International, and former New York State comptroller, will speak at a community faith celebration in Rollins Chapel; the Trinity Repertory Company/Penumbra Theatre Company will present Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers; and Rabbi Edward Boraz will screen an original documentary chronicling a group of Dartmouth students who traveled to Belarus in 2005 to honor the victims of the Holocaust by restoring a forgotten Jewish cemetery. Every Monday during the celebration the College will offer a different panel discussion on an aspect of religion, politics, and civil rights. The panels will include speakers from both inside and outside the College. For times and locations, see the calendar.

On January 27, the College will present the fifth annual MLK Social Justice Awards. This year's ceremony, held in Alumni Hall in the Hopkins Center, will honor authors Grace Paley '98H and Nick Kotz '55, public health advocate Matthew Wilson '83, South African community development activist Thokozani Xaba '89, and the late Dartmouth student Meleia Willis-Starbuck '07, who was a community service volunteer. Student groups Darfur Action Group, Engineers Without Borders, and Outdoor Leadership Experience will also be honored at the event.

By GENEVIEVE HAAS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08