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Lectures, workshops, performances and volunteering mark King Day at IU campuses

Sixty years ago, the Rev. Oliver L. Brown sued the Topeka, Kan., school district, over its policy of segregating schools by race. The case led to Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling that "separate but equal" schools were unconstitutional.

This Thursday, two of Brown's daughters, Cheryl Brown Henderson and Linda Brown Thompson, will tell about their experiences as pioneers of school integration when they serve as keynote speakers for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Indiana University Northwest.

The Brown sisters' talk is one of dozens of events and activities, including lectures, performances, prayer services and community services days, scheduled on and around the Jan. 17 King holiday at Indiana University campuses.

IU Northwest

The Brown sisters will recount their role in the historical case that led to the desegregation of U.S. schools on Thursday (Jan. 13) in the IU Northwest Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium. A reception will follow.

Brown Sisters

Two of the three children of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown, Thompson and Henderson are dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of the Brown v. the Board of Education decision.

Henderson has been a sixth-grade teacher, school guidance counselor, and state educational administrator. She is currently president and CEO of The Brown Foundation for Educational Equality, Excellence and Research, which provides scholarships to minority students, presents awards to leaders and establishes libraries in low-income communities.

Thompson has been a Head Start teacher and has taught private piano lessons. She is currently a program associate with the Brown Foundation and a member of the music department at a Methodist church in Topeka, where she has chaired several project committees.

For more information on IU Northwest King Day and Black History Month activities, see

IU Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington will remember Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate his legacy with activities beginning Thursday (Jan. 13) and running through Jan. 21. Highlights will include the presentation on Sunday (Jan. 16) of an original, one-woman play by actress and playwright E.P. McKnight, titled "I Question America," which chronicles the life of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer.

E. P. McKnight

E. P. McKnight

The campus also will help present the Bloomington community's celebration on Jan. 17, which will feature as keynote speaker Sonia Sanchez, a poet, activist and international lecturer on black culture and literature, women's liberation, peace and racial justice.

Other IU Bloomington events include a day of activities for elementary school children at the School of Education, an interfaith prayer service, a leadership breakfast, a unity summit and a series of films that will be presented in campus cultural centers and residence halls. With the exception of the breakfast, all IU events celebrating King's life are free and open to the public.

Also, many students use the day to honor King's legacy by volunteering in the community. "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 all day on Jan. 17. The IU School of Optometry, in collaboration with the Salvation Army, will provide eye exams and eyeglasses on Jan. 17 to members of the Bloomington community who do not have access to vision care.

Complete information about all IU Bloomington King Day events is available at a special website at

IU East

Legendary civil rights activist the Rev. C.T. Vivian will speak at the 15th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration breakfast in Richmond, presented by IU East along with the Richmond Human Rights Commission, Ivy Tech Community College and Oberle Inc. The breakfast is at 7 a.m. Monday (Jan. 17) at Townsend Community Center. The cost is $10 per person. Call 765-973-8334 or e-mail for reservations.

Vivian will also speak at 11 a.m. for the Richmond MLK Day community luncheon, also at Townsend Community Center and also co-sponsored by IU East. Admission for the luncheon is free. Vivian was a close friend and assistant to Martin Luther King. Jr. who helped organize early civil rights sit-ins in Nashville, Tenn., and led protests and marches throughout the South for King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He founded the C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute in 2008 in Atlanta.

Also, Eric Love, director of diversity education at IU Bloomington, will speak to IU East students about leadership training and multicultural competencies from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 20 in the Springwood Hall Graf Center.


At Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the Black Student Union will host the 42nd annual IUPUI Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner on Sunday (Jan. 16) at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom, One S. Capitol Ave. in downtown Indianapolis.

The keynote speaker will be author, activist and Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson. Tickets are $25 for students, $50 for IUPUI faculty, staff and alumni and $60 for community members. For information, see

Also, about 500 IUPUI students, faculty, staff and community friends will mark the holiday by volunteering for more than two dozen community organizations on Monday (Jan. 17). The event kicks off with an 8:30 a.m. breakfast, featuring IUPUI men's basketball coach Ron Hunter speaking on "Dr. King's Legacy of the Beloved Community."

More information is at

IU Kokomo

"Service is Our Signature" will be the theme of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at IU Kokomo. The program, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 15) at the IU Kokomo Kelley Center, will include information booths, health screenings and workshops for students.

McKenzie Lewis of Indianapolis will be the guest speaker, and a gospel choir has been invited to sing. Lunch will be served with food donated by local businesses and organizations.


Bishop John R. Bryant

Bishop John R. Bryant

Bishop John R. Bryant, presiding prelate of the Fourth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will be the keynote speaker for the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne celebration titled "Bringing the Community Together: A Discussion on Civility."

Part of a week of King Day activities, it will take place next Tuesday (Jan. 18) in the Auer Performance Hall, Rhinehart Music Center. Wilberforce University Choir will also perform at the event, co-sponsored by the Turner Chapel and Gomez Temple African Methodist Episcopal Churches.

Also scheduled at IPFW are two discussions in the Walb Student Union: a Fireside Chat on "Race, Class and Economics" today (Jan. 11) with Ruby Cain, founder and executive director of Creative Training Excellence, Tom Lewandowski, president of the Northeastern Indiana Central Labor Council, and Bill Fletcher Jr., columnist for; and a panel discussion, "How Does the Dream Affect Me Now?" on Thursday (Jan. 13) with Ketu Oladuwa, leader of the Three Rivers Jenbe Ensemble, Chief Condra Ridley, community organizer and storyteller, Michael Patterson, managing editor of Frost Illustrated, and Charles Redd, community activist.

Details are available at

IU Southeast

Indiana University Southeast will celebrate King's legacy on Jan. 26 with a presentation of "Reflections: The Life and Times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." by Jim Lucas.

Lucas has received national acclaim for his stirring and dramatic recitations and interpretive readings depicting King's life. A student of King's teachings, Lucas is an advocate of the philosophy of nonviolent action to effect social change. The Louisiana native was inspired to learn and later recite King's speeches while attending the 20th anniversary of the March on Washington in August 1983. Since then, he has traveled nationwide delivering various renditions of King's "I Have a Dream," "I've Been to the Mountaintop" and "Drum Major Instinct" speeches and other works in a dramatic one-man show.

For more information, see

IU South Bend

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at IU South Bend will include a concert with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, the South Bend Symphonic Choir and the South Bend Youth Symphony, taking place at 7 p.m. Monday (Jan. 17) in Campus Auditorium, Northside Hall. Admission is free.

It will feature violinist Randall Goosby, who was the first place winner of the 2010 Sphinx Competition, and David Buggs as narrator. The program includes "Celebration" by A. Hailstork, "I've Been Buked" by Hal Johnson, "Credo" from Gospel Mass by Robert Ray, "This Day" by Marvin V. Curtis, "Meditation from Thais" by Massanet, Violin Concerto No. 3, movement 1, by Mozart, "New Morning for the World" by J. Swchwantner, "In Memoriam: The Colored Soldiers Who Died for the Democracy" by W.G. Still and, as a finale Uzee Brown's "We Shall Overcome."

Also, the third annual Lift Every Voice concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at Campus Auditorium in celebration of Black History Month. It will feature the Ebony Chorale of the West Palm Beaches directed by Orville Lawton.