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Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2006

2006 King Day celebration to focus on "Power of One"

Jan. 5, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will observe the 20th anniversary of the first celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16 with a special theme, "The Power of One: Commitment, Challenge and Change." Contributions made by another civil rights pioneer, the late Rosa Parks, also will be remembered.

Audrey T. McCluskey, IU's MLK Jr. Committee chair and associate professor of Afro-American studies, said the theme draws upon the legacy of Parks, whose single-minded action jump-started the Civil Rights Movement and led to the ascendancy of King's leadership. A special honor, The Power of One Award, will be presented to local "change agents" who have demonstrated a commitment to positive social change through their actions and initiatives.

"With this year's celebration, we are honoring not only the man but his legacy of commitment to a cause that was greater than the constraints he faced," said McCluskey, who also directs IU's Black Film Center and Archive. "We hope to remind young people who think they are too young or too powerless to make a difference that Dr. King was only 26 years old when he stepped forth to lead a movement. Rosa Parks, contrary to her portrayal in the media as a tired old woman, was a youthful 42 when she defied the racial status quo."

The Power of One Award and another honor, the Building Bridges Award, will be presented at an invitation-only breakfast. The Building Bridges Award is given in appreciation to community leaders and IU faculty, staff and students for their service and outstanding leadership.

With the exception of the awards breakfast, all IU events celebrating King's life are free and open to everyone. They include panel discussions, musical performances, a film festival and a day of educational programming for local school children. Classes are not held on the King holiday, and IU Bloomington students will use the day to honor King's legacy by volunteering in the community.

Some IU students and faculty will travel to Montgomery, Ala., Jan. 13-15, to visit the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, the Civil Rights Memorial Center, the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and Parsonage, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. They will tour these facilities and engage in discussions on the impact that the Civil Rights Movement has had on our country and the legacies of Parks and King.

Other events centered around King Day include the following:

  • The City of Bloomington's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission annual celebration, Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m., at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave. in downtown Bloomington. The community celebration will feature new music by David Baker, IU Distinguished Professor of Music, and performances by the IU African American Choral Ensemble, the Musical Arts Children's Choir and the Community Chorus.
  • "A Day On, Not a Day Off," a massive volunteer effort organized in cooperation with a number of nonprofit agencies, IU and the City of Bloomington, will be held all day on Jan. 16.
  • "What Would Martin Do? -- A March and Rally for Peace and Justice," Jan. 16, 3:30 to 5 p.m., will provide participants with a chance to make a statement for peace and justice in the tradition of the Civil Rights Movement. The march will start at the west entrance of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave., and proceed to the courthouse lawn with a stop at Peoples Park along the way. It will conclude with a rally on the courthouse lawn. Participants are encouraged to bring a banner or placard. Speakers and songs will reflect on "What would Martin do?"
  • The film Citizen King, which focuses on the last five years of King's life, will be presented Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. at Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. IU Libraries will present an all-day film festival on Jan. 16 at the IU Main Library Media Showing Room on Jan. 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Films will include Playing Unfair: The Media Image of the Female Athlete and Million Dollar Baby.
  • The IU School of Education's Third Annual King Activity Day with Children will be Jan. 16 in the School of Education Atrium. Elementary-age students from the Banneker Center and Girls Inc. will participate in a variety of educational activities throughout the day including math, art and music activities. For more information or to volunteer, contact Leana McClain at 812-856-8160 or
  • An interfaith prayer service will be held on Jan. 16 at 10:30 a.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana Memorial Union.
  • A Unity Summit in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center will take place on Jan. 16 from noon to 2 p.m. The event brings IU students together to learn about diversity. Activities will promote networking and collaboration between individuals and student organizations to improve the campus climate at IU.
  • The Power of One Quilt will be on display on Jan. 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. on the first floor of Eigenmann Residence Hall, located at 10th and Union streets. Eigenmann residents are being encouraged to write comments on squares about how King and the movement have affected them, their family and their community. The squares will be made into one large quilt which will be on display in the elevator lobby.
  • A series of panel discussions and other presentations will take place Jan. 16 through Jan. 26, including "What Would Martin Do?" on Jan. 16, 2:30 p.m., in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center; "Kids Like Me! Celebrating Diversity by Exploring Similarities," on Jan. 17, 4 p.m., in Forest Quad Formal Lounge; "Peace, Freedom and Equality" on Jan. 17, 7 p.m., in Briscoe Student Activity Room; "The Rosa Parks Story," on Jan. 17, 7 p.m., in the Collins Coffeehouse; "Remembering Rudolfo 'Corky' Gonzalez" on Jan. 18, 7 p.m., at the Latino Cultural Center (LaCasa), 715 E. Seventh St.; "One Child One Voice" on Jan. 18, 7 p.m., in Ashton Barnes Lounge; "Community Connections or Conflicts of Commitment?" on Jan. 19, 8 a.m., in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Grand Hall; "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Power of One" on Jan. 19, 7 p.m., in Willkie Auditorium; "Lift Every Voice, Music Significance for Black People's Expression" on Jan. 22, 7 p.m, in Read Clark Formal Lounge; "Hip-Hop and Resistance of Struggles," Jan. 22, 7 p.m., in Willkie Auditorium; "Life After the Dream" on Jan. 22, 5 p.m., in Foster Quad Formal Lounge; "Who Says We Can't Talk About Identity, Politics, Sexuality and Religion Over Dinner?" on Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m., at Helen G. Simon Hillel Center, 730 E. Third St.; and "Building Bridges Forum" on Jan. 26, 7 p.m., in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Grand Hall.

Complete information is available at a special Web site at