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Getting to the Mountaintop

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Dartmouth's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration begins Jan. 18

"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's 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee


Dartmouth's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration explores the theme Getting to the Mountaintop: Working Through Conflict Toward Reconciliation. "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.


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.

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); and Milton Ochieng' '04 and Fred Ochieng' '05, founders of the Lwala Community Alliance (Emerging Leadership). Dartmouth's chapter of DREAM, a Vermont youth mentoring program, will also be honored.

"This year's MLK celebration will represent something very powerful. I am impressed by the scope of the celebration," says Harmony Gbe '10, a student member of the planning committee, noting that the events reach out to many members of the community including area residents.

The College encourages employees to attend MLK events. (Employees should ask their supervisors for time off to attend events held during work hours.)

Events begin Sunday, Jan. 18, and continue through Monday, Feb. 2, and include discussions, lectures, films, performances, and more. Click here for the full schedule.


Highlights of celebration events through Jan. 19

Sunday, January 18
  • Community Faith Celebration with the Rev. Dr. James Lawson
  • 3 p.m., Rollins Chapel
Monday, January 19
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day Employee Celebration Breakfast: Conflict Management and Reconciliation in the Workplace
  • 8-9:30 a.m., Daniel Webster Room, Hanover Inn; RSVP required: click here to register.
  • Community Lunch: Surprising Stories of Reconciliation
  • Noon-1:30 p.m., Collis Common Ground
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Candlelight Vigil
  • 5 p.m., gather at Cutter-Shabazz Hall, first floor
  • Keynote Address by Sherman Alexie
  • 7 p.m., Spaulding Auditorium, Hopkins Center

Ticket holders must be in their seats by 6:45 p.m., after which empty seats become available to all. President James Wright and Afro-American Society President Anna Bofa '09 will also speak. A reception will follow at the Top of the Hop.

Free tickets for Sherman Alexie's speech 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.

Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 1/4/09