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Northwestern University to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Northwestern University will commemorate the life and legacy of the late civil and human rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in numerous ways in mid-January.

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January 10, 2007 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will commemorate the life and legacy of the late civil and human rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in numerous ways in mid-January.

From 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, Northwestern students, faculty and staff, working with “Chicago Cares” and more than 2,000 Chicago participants, will volunteer at various service sites around the city, in partnership with the Center for Student Involvement.

Northwestern University has suspended classes on Monday, Jan. 15, on both campuses for a University-wide, full-day observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Jan. 15 celebration will include a series of special events and talks on the Evanston and Chicago campuses. All of the following events are free and open to the public.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Clarence Page, a member of the Chicago Tribune editorial board, and acclaimed stage, screen and television actor Harry Lennix, a Northwestern alumnus, will be the featured speakers during the Evanston campus commemoration.

Page will give the first keynote address on the Evanston campus during a noon observance Monday, Jan. 15, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive. The Pick-Staiger celebration will include music and performances by Northwestern student groups including the Alice Millar Chapel Choir, Northwestern Community Ensemble and members of the University community.

Lennix will be the second keynote speaker at the 7 p.m. Alpha Phi Alpha Candlelight Vigil at Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road. The evening program will include musical performances by the Northwestern Community Ensemble, the a cappella groups “Harmony in Spirit” and “Brown Sugar” and other members of the University community.

Charles Ogletree Jr., the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Esq., will be the keynote speaker during the Chicago campus celebration at noon Monday, Jan. 15, at Thorne Auditorium, Arthur Rubloff Building, 375 E. Chicago Ave. Ogletree is the author of “From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America.” A book signing in the Thorne Auditorium lobby will follow this commemoration and musical program. The DREAM Committee of the Northwestern University School of Law and the Feinberg School of Medicine are co-sponsoring the event.

The following is a list of other free Evanston and Chicago campus programs that are open to the public.

Evanston campus:

• From 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, the University's Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee will sponsor the screening of the films “Crash” and “4 Little Girls” in Norris University Center's McCormick Auditorium, 1999 Campus Drive. “Crash” is an Academy Award-winning drama directed by Paul Haggis. The film is about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles. It won three Oscars for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing at the 2005 Academy Awards. “4 Little Girls” is a 1997 documentary about the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala. It was directed by Spike Lee and nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Documentary.”

• A daylong screening of the “Eyes On the Prize” documentary series about the American civil rights movement will be televised from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, on the ground floor of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, in the vicinity of Starbucks coffeehouse and the 1999 area. The series uses archival footage to record the growth of the American civil rights movement, with special focus on the ordinary people who affected the change.

• “It's All Up to Us: Our Story of the Civil Rights Movement,” an original 40-minute theatre production that is a joint project of Northwestern theatre students and students of Evanston's Haven Middle School, will be performed at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at the Mussetter-Struble Theatre, Theatre and Interpretation Center, 1949 Campus Drive. Using interviews with Evanston community members, archival footage, storytelling, music and dance, the students have created a performance that addresses issues of racism -- past, present and future. It asks the question, 40 years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “What more work is to be done so that his dream might be achieved?”

• The Muslim Cultural Student Association will sponsor a blood drive, all day Tuesday, Jan. 16, in Parkes Hall, 1870 Sheridan Road.

• Rufus Burrow Jr., Indiana Chair of Thought and professor of social ethics at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, will deliver a lecture on “The Meaning of Martin Luther King Jr. for the 21st Century” at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Road. The lecture is sponsored by the Center for the Church and Black Experience at Garrett Theological Seminary. 

• The guest preacher for the 2007 Martin Luther King Jr. service will be Jo Anne Terrell, associate professor of ethics and theology and director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Chicago Theological Seminary. Terrell will speak during an 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, Worship Celebration at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful, 2121 Sheridan Road.

• Omid Safi, professor of Islamic studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will lecture on “Finding Roots of Peace and Social Justice within Islam” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road. The program is sponsored by the Muslim Cultural Student Association.

• The University's African American Theater Ensemble will present six performances of the play “The Street Corner” at 8 and 11 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, Friday, Jan. 19 and Saturday, Jan. 20, at Norris Center's McCormick Auditorium, 1999 Campus Drive.

Chicago campus:

• Rabbi Bob Marx and Kale Williams will join Mikva Challenge Youth Leaders of the Southwest Youth Collaborative during the 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15 morning roundtable discussion “Generations: Older Civil Rights Leaders and Youth Leaders” in Room 140 of the Arthur Rubloff Building, 375 E. Chicago Ave. Barbara Ransby, director of the Public Square Foundation, will moderate the discussion.

Northwestern's DREAM Committee is sponsoring four hour-long Chicago campus afternoon panel discussions.

o Flint Taylor, co-founder of the People's Law Office, and John Conroy, author of “Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People,” will discuss “Domestic Torture” at 1:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at the Arthur Rubloff Building, Room 140, 375 E. Chicago Ave. Locke Bowman of the MacArthur Justice Center will moderate the discussion.

• Quentin Young, M.D., Becky Belcore, R.N. and Michael Suk, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., will discuss “Physicians as Activists” at 1:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at Hughes Auditorium, Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center, 303 E. Superior St. Professor Katie Wilson will moderate the second panel discussion.

• Eric Whitaker, M.D., director of the Illinois Department of Public Health; Steven Whitman, Northwestern adjunct professor of preventive medicine; and Northwestern University Law Professor Dorothy Roberts will discuss “Health Care Disparities” at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, Hughes Auditorium, Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center. James Hill, M.D., will moderate the third panel discussion.

• Ingrid Mattson, president, Islamic Society of North America; Michael Deutch, attorney for Muhammad Salah; and Professor Steven Salaita (formerly of the University of Wisconsin), author of “Anti-Arab Racism in the U.S.A.,” will discuss “Anti-Islamic, Anti-Arab Racism Since 9/11” at 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, in Room 140 of the Arthur Rubloff Building, 375 E. Chicago Ave.

For updated information on these and other Evanston and Chicago campus events honoring Dr. King, visit <http://www.northwestern.edu/mlk/evanstonevents.html> or <http://www.northwestern.edu/mlk/chicagoevents.html>.