Area events slated to mark life of Martin Luther King Jr.

contact: Deanne Puca
| WMU News
Photo of woman speaking in front of MLK statue.

Onlookers listen to a speaker after the 2014 march to MLK Park.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Activities at Western Michigan University and across the broader Kalamazoo community in January and February are planned to honor slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., including a convocation, march, day of service, educational programs and presentations.

"The Courage to Dream: The Determination to Achieve" is the theme of this year's celebration which includes events that are free and open to the public.

Activities and events

Wednesday, Jan. 14

  • WMU/Kalamazoo Public Schools Social Justice Book Bowl, 5 p.m., Linden Grove Middle School. Elimination competition for middle and high school students from surrounding area school districts.

Thursday, Jan. 15

  • 'The Legacy of Dr. King 46 Years Later: Where are We on Affirmative Action? Are We Living the Same Reality?" 11 a.m., Room 4240, Student Commons Theater, Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The speaker is Buddy Hannah, a poet, author and radio commentator for "Talk It Up," 95.5 FM in Kalamazoo.

Friday, Jan. 16

  • Community Reflection, 11 a.m., Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College.

Saturday, Jan. 17

  • Public School Students' Visitation, 9 a.m. registration, East Ballroom, Bernhard Center. Open to middle and high school students and parents and guardians from Kalamazoo Public Schools and surrounding school districts.

Sunday, Jan. 18

  • The 29th annual Northside Ministerial Alliance Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, 4 p.m., Galilee Baptist Church, 1216 N. Westnedge Ave. Keynote speaker is Dr. Forrest Harris, president of American Baptist College, Nashville, Tennessee.

Monday, Jan. 19

  • City of Kalamazoo Communitywide Day of Service, 8 a.m. Meet at City Hall, 241 W. South St. Volunteer opportunities are available at or
  • Convocation, 10:50 a.m., Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College. Keynote speaker is the Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch NAACP; founder of the Freedom Institute for Economic, Social Justice and People Empowerment; and founder of the Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee.
  • March to MLK Park, starts at 3:30 p.m. at the flagpole at Kanley Chapel, WMU; to Kalamazoo College Red Square, corner of Thompson and Academy streets, at 4 p.m.; to MLK Park, corner of Rose Street and West Michigan Avenue, at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 22

  • Teach-In: Police Violence, Racism and Social Justice, 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., reception; 6:15 to 6:30 p.m., teach-in begins with presentations by Lewis Walker and Timothy Ready; 6:30 to 8 p.m., discussions led by WMU faculty members. All events will be held at the Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations in Welborn Hall. Hosted by the Walker Institute with the College of Arts and Sciences.

Monday, Jan. 26

  • "Social Justice and the Emerging New Age: A 21st Century Look at Martin Luther King's WMU Speech," 4 to 6 p.m., 159 Bernhard Center. Speakers include philosophy graduate students Dustin Van Pelt, Dustin Sigsbee and Michael Lindquist. Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society.

Thursday, Feb. 26

  • "The Courage to Create-Group Poetry Reading on Confronting Injustice" poetry competition, final round, 6:30 to 9 p.m., WMU Center for the Humanities, 2500 Knauss Hall. Semifinalists of the first annual "Courage to Create" Poetry Competition for students in grades 7 to 12 , with the theme "Confronting Injustice." Special guest orators and community leaders will also perform poetry at the event.

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