Series of Events to Honor Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted: January 29, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

To celebrate Black History Month and commemorate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Mason will hold a series of events on Wednesday, Jan. 30, and Thursday, Jan. 31.

The theme for the commemoration is “Where Do We Go from Here: Making the Dream a Reality” and is intended to reinforce the relevancy of King’s ideas as applied to contemporary issues.

The commemoration will begin with a ‘read-in’ facilitated by Richard Rubenstein, professor in the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 10:30 a.m. in the Johnson Center’s Paul Robeson Room 240A. The ‘read-in’ will focus on the literature written by and about King.

The second event will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall. “An Evening of Recognition and Reflection” will feature speaker Steve Birdine, who will give a keynote address titled “A Catalyst for Change.” Birdine is a nationally acclaimed speaker who has delivered presentations to thousands of people across the country about academic excellence, student motivation, diversity education and leadership development.

In addition, faculty, staff and students who best personify the essence of King’s vision through their efforts in the development of a multicultural campus community will be honored with the Spirit of King awards.

Wednesday’s celebration will close with a performance by Mason’s Anointed Voices of Unity Gospel Choir and an acknowledgement of the significant contributions of Stanley Taylor, Mason vice president of metropolitan relations.

The third and final event will take place on Thursday, Jan. 31, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Johnson Center’s Patriot Corner Room 116. The event is designed as a campuswide civic engagement project that will give the Mason community an opportunity to engage in service-oriented and politically focused projects.

Those who participate will assemble hygiene kits for the homeless across the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. There will also be petition-signing campaigns focusing on issues related to post-Katrina New Orleans recovery efforts and challenging negative stereotypes portrayed in the media.

For more information, contact Calvin Haney, assistant director in the Office of Diversity Programs and Services, chaney1@gmu.edu.

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