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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations
gvlahaki@indiana.edu
812-855-0846

Last modified: Monday, January 12, 2004

Civil rights leader to be remembered at IU through series of events

Ellis Cose, best-selling author of several books on the African American experience and a columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, will speak at Indiana University Bloomington on Jan. 19 at the headline event in a busy and diverse campus celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

IU President Adam W. Herbert also will speak at the event, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. In his remarks, Herbert will kick off the campus' semester-long remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Schools, which struck down segregation in the nation's public schools. A reception will follow Cose's lecture.

All of the events celebrating King's life are free. They include panel discussions, a step show, musical performances, poetry readings, a film festival and a day of educational programming for local schoolchildren. Many IU Bloomington students will use the day to honor King's legacy by volunteering in the community.

Cose is author of the recent book, The Envy of the World: On Being a Black Man in America (Washington Square Press). In his book, he chronicles the extraordinary journey that blacks have made and investigates why some black men shackle themselves with attitudes and behavior that sabotage their future. He provides real-life examples, stories and anecdotes from a range of black men, offering a unique glimpse into the minds of those who have risen above or succumbed to the pressures of today.

He also is the author of four other books, The Rage of a Privileged Class, Color Blind: Seeing Beyond Race in a Race-Obsessed World, The Best Defense and The Darden Dilemma. He began his journalism career at the age of 19 as a weekly columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. He has appeared on Nightline, Dateline NBC, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and Good Morning America.

Other events centered around King Day include the following:

-- Michael V.W. Gordon, IU professor emeritus of music, will be the featured speaker at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission's annual community celebration on Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave. in downtown Bloomington. The community celebration also will feature music by the IU African American Choral Ensemble and by a children's choir from local public schools performing an original work by Sarah Stevens and David Baker, director of the Jazz Studies Program in the IU School of Music. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award will be presented, and volunteers and students who design Web pages will be recognized. The event will be followed by a reception.

-- "A Day On, Not a Day Off," a massive volunteer effort organized in cooperation with a number of nonprofit agencies and the City of Bloomington, to be held all day on Jan. 19;

-- A trip by IU Bloomington students on Jan. 16-18 to Memphis, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala. They will visit the National Civil Rights Museum, housed in the motel where King was assassinated in Memphis, and historic sites in Birmingham, where King wrote "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," which appeared in his 1964 book, Why We Can't Wait;

-- An interfaith prayer service on Jan. 19 at 9 a.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium;

-- A series of panel discussions between Jan. 21 and 29, including a breakfast discussion, "Being Gay at IU," at 8 a.m. on Jan. 22 in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. (seating is limited). Other panel discussions will be "A Discussion of Brown vs. Board of Education" at 7 p.m. on Jan. 21 in the IU Main Library Media Room; "The Role of Campus Religious Organizations in the Civil Rights Movement" at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22 (location to be announced); "The Sixties at IU: A Panel of IU Civil Rights Activists" at 4 p.m. on Jan. 23 in the IMU University Club; and "The Civil Rights Movement and Beyond" at 7 p.m. (location to be announced);

-- The IU School of Education's King Activity Day for 40 elementary school students from Banneker Community Center and Girls Inc. on Jan. 19. IU students from the school will serve as mentors for the children in various educational activities;

-- A Unity Summit in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center on Jan. 19;

-- IU Libraries' all-day film festival at the IU Main Library Media Showing Room from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 15. Films will include Black Americans of Achievement: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall: Portrait of an American Hero and Once upon a Time When We Were Colored. Union Board also will screen the film, Antwone Fisher, at 8 and 11 p.m. on Jan. 15-18;

-- A poetry slam at Read Quadrangle's Hoosier Cafe on Jan. 15 at 8 p.m.;

-- A student re-enactment of 1960s civil rights "freedom rides" and the march on Selma, Ala., on Jan. 22, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Ashton Barnes;

-- "Steppin' Up to the Dream" at 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 in Willkie Auditorium, where IU students will express through step-dance how they as individuals or as members of a group carry on King's legacy;

-- IU's public television station, WTIU-Channel 30, will present the new program, American Experience: Citizen King, which explores the last five years of King's life by drawing on the personal recollections and eyewitness accounts of friends, movement associates, journalists, law enforcement officials and historians. The program will air at 9 p.m. EST on Jan. 19 and will be repeated at 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Jan. 21 and at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Jan. 26;

-- A displaying of the AIDS quilt from Jan. 28 to 30 in IMU's Alumni Hall.

For more complete information, go to http://www.indiana.edu/~libugls/MLK/index.html or contact the IU Office of Multicultural Affairs at 812-855-9632.