Events throughout community set to honor King

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of Dr King at WMU in 1963.

Dr. King at WMU in 1963

KALAMAZOO--Upcoming activities at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College and across the broader Kalamazoo community are planned to honor slain civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including a convocation, march, day of service, educational programs and presentations by such award-winning scholars as author and radio host Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.

WMU and K College are again partnering with the Northside Ministerial Alliance and the city of Kalamazoo to memorialize King, beginning Saturday, Jan. 14, with an MLK Celebration and Public School Students Visitation at WMU. That event is being offered to area high school students and will feature a presentation by performance painter David Garibaldi along with workshops, a luncheon and an art and literary competition.

Dyson will hit the Miller Auditorium stage at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, as part of a program titled "Martin Luther King Jr. and (African) American Leadership in the 21st Century." A flurry of activities will roll out the next day on Martin Luther King. Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 16, the national holiday memorializing King. Those events begin with the City of Kalamazoo Community Day of Service, followed by a march to MLK Park, the 18th Anniversary Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a convocation at Kalamazoo College featuring Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, founder of the award-winning a cappella quintet Sweet Honey in the Rock and a major voice for freedom and justice.

With the help of a Michigan Campus Compact mini-grant, WMU is collaborating with the city of Kalamazoo on the MLK Day of Service. The University is hoping more than 250 faculty, staff and students will participate in activities by registering at and meeting at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at City Hall for a light breakfast before embarking on service work opportunities.

An event on Wednesday, Jan. 18, will shed light on MLK's stance on the Vietnam War, poverty and militarism. Titled "A Time to Break Silence," that event is at 7:30 p.m. in Room 208 of the Bernhard Center and will use video footage and dramatic readings to analyze MLK's resistance to the war and his prophetic vision for nonviolence, peace and social justice.

The theme of this year's MLK observance is "Remember the Dream: Be the Legacy." All events are free and open to the public.

Saturday, Jan. 14

WMU Celebration and Public School Students Visitation, activities include a presentation by performance painter David Garibaldi, workshops, luncheon, art and literary competition; Bernhard Center Ballroom, registration 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, Jan. 15

Lecture, "Martin Luther King Jr. and (African) American Leadership in the 21st Century," Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, author, radio host and Georgetown University professor of sociology; Miller Auditorium, 4:30 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 16

Community Day of Service, volunteer opportunities available at local service organizations, Kalamazoo City Hall, 241 W. South St., 8 a.m.

18th Anniversary Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., continental breakfast and presentation by Michael T. Scott, pastor of Galilee Baptist Church; Ecumenical Senior Center, 702 N. Burdick St., 9 a.m.

Convocation, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, singer, composer, producer, teacher and scholar; Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College, 10:50 a.m.

March to MLK Park, starting at the WMU Campus Flagpoles at 3:30 p.m., to the corner of Thompson and Academy streets at 4 p.m., to the corner of Rose Street and West Michigan Avenue at 4:30 p.m.; to MLK Park.

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., dialogue and exploration of MLK's vision, participants encouraged to bring a writing by King or poetry, song lyrics or written piece that embodies his vision, pizza will be served and the Voices of WMU Gospel Choir will perform; Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo, 2101 Wilbur Ave, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 18

Lecture and discussion, "Addressing the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement," Dr. Don Cooney, WMU professor of social work, followed by breakout sessions, 2028 Brown Hall, 5 p.m.

Analysis, "A Time to Break Silence," analysis of MLK's resistance to the war, vision for nonviolence, peace and social justice using video excerpts and dramatic readings from King's speeches, 208 Bernhard Center, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 22

26th Annual Northside Ministerial Alliance Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, Rev. Dr. Otha Gilyard, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave. 4 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 23

Panel Discussion, "Family Contributions to Risk and Resilience in African American Children," featuring service professionals, who will offer opinions and advice on understanding relationship patterns and issues faced by minority families, Greater Faith Empowerment Center, 5805 Oakland Dr., 6 p.m..

Wednesday, Jan. 25

Seita Scholars Bring Life to the Dream, includes lunchtime lecture, 204 Bernhard Center, 10 a.m.

Thursday, Jan. 26

Diversity and Inclusion Lecture, WMU Multicultural Center, Trimpe Building. Presentation by Dr. Allan G. Johnson, author of "Privilege, Power and Difference," 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Resilience Building Interactive Workshop, WMU Multicultural Center, Trimpe Building, noon.

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