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Belafonte is MLK Keynote Speaker

Events begin Jan. 14 and continue through Jan. 26

This year, Dartmouth's series of events celebrating the life and work of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. will focus on the theme "Lift Every Voice: Freedom's Artists and the Ongoing Struggle for Civil Rights." This year's events will begin on Sunday, Jan. 14, and continue through Friday, Jan. 26. Most programs are free and open to the public. (See detailed schedule.)

Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte, actor, recording artist, and activist, will speak on "The Journey: The Long Road to Freedom" on Monday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium.

At 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, actor, recording artist, and activist Harry Belafonte will deliver the annual keynote address in Spaulding Auditorium. The title of his talk is "The Journey: The Long Road to Freedom." Free tickets will be available at the Hopkins Center Box Office on Jan. 9 and 10 for those with a Dartmouth student, faculty, or staff ID and beginning Jan. 11 for the general public. There is a four-ticket limit per person. Ticket holders must be in their seats by 6:45 p.m., after which empty seats become available to nonticket holders.

A multimedia presentation of the speech Martin Luther King Jr. delivered at Dartmouth on May 23, 1962, will run continuously from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15, in 105 Dartmouth Hall. Other highlights of the two-week-long program include panel discussions, film screenings, a candlelight vigil, performances, and art exhibitions.

The College's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee is headed by Giavanna Munafo, associate director for training and educational programs in the Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity, and Judith Byfield, associate professor in the Departments of African and African American Studies, History, Women's and Gender Studies, and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies. The committee's Web site explains that "more than ever, we find strength in the inspiration and insight provided through artistic expression. The speakers, performers, and artists who are part of this year's program remind us that creative anger, joyous celebration, and loving compassion can move mountains. Join us as we lift our voices in support of a just society."

The celebration concludes with the presentation of Dartmouth's annual Social Justice Awards on Friday, Jan. 26, at 5 p.m. in Collis Common Ground. Those to be honored this year are:

  • Thomas W. Wahman '60, the founder and president of the Resources Development Foundation. He has worked to increase social, economic, and environmental justice for impoverished people worldwide.
  • Karen Kramer Hein DMS '68, the former president of the William T. Grant Foundation and founder of the United States' first comprehensive adolescent HIV/AIDS program.
  • James F. Butterworth, Tuck '91, the founder and principal of Incite Productions, which produces documentaries promoting positive social change around the world. His films have won numerous awards and inspired grass roots and policy-level actions worldwide.
  • Paul D. Holzer '00, director of higher education at the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C., where he oversees four college preparation programs that serve at-risk minority youth.
  • The Mascoma Clinic, which provides free medical care to underserved residents of Enfield, Canaan, and other New Hampshire towns. It is run by Dartmouth Medical School students and sponsored by the Good Neighbor Health Clinic.
  • SEAD (Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth), which expands educational opportunities for high school students from under-resourced urban and rural schools while offering the Dartmouth community a unique opportunity for service learning.

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was a key figure in the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, from his leadership of the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott in 1955-56 to the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., in 1963. As an advocate of an unyielding but nonviolent campaign for change, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968. In 1983, Congress designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day to be observed on the third Monday in January, a day that falls on or is near King's birthday.

By SUSAN KNAPP

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Last Updated: 12/17/08