December 05, 2017

Eastern Michigan University’s 32nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration set to take place from Jan. 11-16, 2018

Celebration is one of the most extensive in Michigan; this year's theme: 'Live the Legacy: Look Back, Be Present, Move Forward'

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University will celebrate and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the 32nd consecutive year with a variety of events occurring over a six-day period from Thursday, Jan. 11 through Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.

EMU invites our campus and community members to join together in this important celebration, and engage in dialogue around the issues that still confront us today.

The 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration theme of "Live the Legacy: Look Back, Be Present, Move Forward" captures the essence of the ongoing nature of the work to address social injustices in an honest and thought-provoking way.

The celebration kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 with a Commemorative March that reflects on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March led by Martin Luther King, Jr., and culminates on Jan. 16, 2018 at the EMU Men’s Basketball game, which will be dedicated to the remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a special half-time recognition.

Here is the schedule of events:

Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 - Celebration Kickoff

• Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative March: Martin Luther King Garden with MLK Statue (Located between Boone and Welch Hall), 3:30 p.m.

Join members of the University and surrounding community as they reflect upon the historical significance of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March by thousands of non-violent demonstrators, and march across campus from the MLK Garden to the Student Center. Individuals can join the march at any point along the route.

• Opening Celebration Art Gallery and Reception: Student Center Gallery, 4 - 6 p.m. EMU President James Smith will provide opening remarks.

This celebration will consist of selected art pieces created by EMU students  that will be featured in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work. Three students will be selected to each receive a scholarship of $500 in recognition of their art work.

Friday, Jan. 12, 2018

• MLK Day of Service*: EMU Honors College Auditorium (511 W Forest Ave, Ypsilanti), 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The VISION Volunteer Center will be hosting a morning of volunteering for EMU students, faculty and staff as part of EMU's MLK Celebration. All that’s needed is that you sign up and show-up the day of, ready to make a difference.

Note: This event is for EMU students, faculty, and staff only.

• The Color of Drums Poetry Celebration: Pease Auditorium. Doors Open: 6:30 p.m. Show Time: 7 p.m. (Free Admission).

The Color of Drums is an annual show hosted by The Poetry Society, where acting and poetry collide on stage. The show entails multiple skits performed by the organization as it relates to common topics throughout today's society revolving around the MLK Celebration theme.

Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018

• Movie: "Selma": Student Center Auditorium. Viewing: 3:30 p.m. Free admission. Discussion is 5:45 p.m. (immediately following movie), with light refreshments.

Following the movie, all moviegoers are invited to participate in a short facilitated discussion of the issues surrounding the events that led up to the Selma to Montgomery March and how it compares and contrasts with events that are happening today around the country.

Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018

• Community Conversation: "Building Communities: One Step at a Time..."
Room 310 A/B, Student Center, 3 - 4:30 p.m. Special Guest Presenter: Dr. Doris Fields, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Professor of Communications, Eastern Michigan University.

This presentation will examine how EMU can build bridges with the larger community. Following the presentation, participants will engage in small group discussions around selected topics, using communication strategies, to address issues around diversity and actions to improve race relations both at the University and within the surrounding community.

Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 – MLK DAY

• Morning Coffee: Student Center, Room 300, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.

Start your day of events and programming by joining members of the MLK Committee for a light continental breakfast. This event is free and open to the public.

• Academic Programs: Student Center, third floor (various rooms). Session Block #1: 9 - 9:50 a.m. Four concurrent sessions. Session Block #2: 10 - 10:50 a.m. Five concurrent sessions.

• President's MLK Luncheon: Featuring Keynote Speaker: Joy-Ann Reid, Student Center Ballroom, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets must be purchased for this event Go to the website link for ticket information.

• MLK Keynote Address: Joy-Ann Reid: Student Center Auditorium, 1:30 - 3 p.m. Joy-Ann Reid, a political analyst for MSNBC and host of “AM Joy,” will give the MLK celebration keynote address.

• CloseUp Theatre Troupe: Student Center Auditorium. Two Shows:  3:30 - 5 p.m. and 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Sometimes, we examine the injustices in our society as individuals, but we don’t always speak up about them as a community. CloseUp will speak up and speak out about some of those injustices and create a space for audience members to think, feel, question and perhaps act. 

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018

Closing MLK Celebration Event: EMU Men’s Basketball Game (EMU vs Akron):

Convocation Center, 7 p.m.

EMU Athletics will be honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr at this game. Come cheer the EMU Men’s basketball team on against Akron, with a special presentation of the MLK Student Scholarship and Humanitarian Award winners during half-time.

For information about any of these events, go to the special MLK website or contact the MLK Celebration co-chairs at egold@emich.edu or jrobin47@emich.edu.

Contact Geoff Larcom, glarcom@emich.edu, 734.487.4401

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