John Matlock, PhD

Associate Vice Provost 

Office of the Provost and Executive Vice-President


Director, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

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The University of Michigan

3009 SAB Building/OAMI

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1316

734.936.1055 Fax: 734.764.3595


                        For scheduling, contract: Carol Williams

                        734.936.1055  ([log in to unmask])





MLK programs to include films, music, conversation

By Kevin Brown

Lectures by civil rights leaders, Native American drumming, children's
activities and a hip-hop summit are just a few of the activities planned
as part of the 23rd annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium,
which opens on campus this week.


Students, staff, faculty and community members take part in the Circle
of Unity during last year's MLK Symposium. The third annual event will
take place at 2 p.m. Jan. 19 in the Diag. The event will feature songs
of freedom and spoken word performances, along with free wristbands for
the first 250 participants. (Photo courtesy Michigan Community Scholars

Activist and long-time Georgia legislator Julian Bond's keynote address
occurs the day before Barack Obama's presidential inauguration - an
historic event that MLK organizers say will energize and define many
activities in this year's symposium. Talks by activist Julie Chavez
Rodriguez and author Pearl Cleage also are anticipated highlights of the
symposium, one of the leading observances in the nation devoted to
honoring King.

The symposium theme is "A Dreamer, But Not the Only One." It was
selected by the 40-member MLK Symposium Planning Committee, which
assists event organizer the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives
(OAMI). The theme highlights the importance of acting for positive
change, which King and his followers did, as they fought for civil
rights and social justice.

The MLK Symposium opens Jan. 15 at locations around campus.
OAMI-sponsored events are scheduled through Jan. 30, while
University-sponsored events continue through April.

The Jan. 19 events are:

* The keynote King Memorial Lecture by Bond, at 10 a.m. in Hill
Auditorium. Bond has served since 1998 as chairman of the board of the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the
oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States. In
2002 he received the prestigious National Freedom Award. The veteran of
more than 20 years service in the Georgia General Assembly, a university
professor and writer, Bond also has narrated the Academy Award-winning
"A Time For Justice" and the prize-winning and critically acclaimed
series "Eyes On The Prize."

* MLK Children and Youth Program - A Day Filled with Creativity,
Dialogue and Entertainment for students in grades K-12, from 8:30 a.m.-3
p.m., Modern Language Building, 812 E. Washington. Art, storytelling,
musical performances and group dialogue sessions are scheduled with
historians and musical artists Robert Jones, Frances Wang, 
58 Greene, Will Copeland, the Lincoln High School Steppers and others.

* Business and Finance MLK Convocation Speaker Les Brown appears at
12:30 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium
<> .
The motivational speaker and TV personality was selected as one of
America's Top Five Speakers by Toastmasters International and has been
recognized by Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller for his work in
helping people to realize their potential for achievement. Brown also
has served as a three-term legislator.

* Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch addresses Myth and
Miracles from the King Years at 1:30 p.m. in theStephen M. Ross School
of Business <>  Blau Auditorium.

* Larry Wilmore from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" presents Don't
Take Diversity Seriously: Just Kidding! at 2 p.m. in the Michigan Union
<>  Ballroom. The comedian and writer who is
developing his own sitcom for HBO has written for "The Fresh Prince of
Bel-Air" and "The Jamie Foxx Show," created "The Bernie Mac Show" and
was a consulting producer on "The Office."

* Dare to Dream: A Performance by Simon Estes, features the celebrated
baritone, professor and artist-in-residence at Wartburg College in
Waverly, Iowa. He performs at 2 p.m. in the Mendelssohn Theatre in the 
Michigan League <> . Estes is known for his
humanitarian efforts to link talented students to scholarships to attend
the Julliard School of Music and other institutions.

* Third annual Circle of Unity, 2-3 p.m., in the Diag, joins students,
staff, faculty and community members in songs of freedom and spoken word

* Drumming and Beading for Dreamers of the Dream: Love Your Indian Day
at 4 p.m. in the Educational Conference Center, School of Social Work
<> , features an introduction to Native
American and Ojibwe culture through a series of traditional drum songs
and an interactive demonstration of Navajo beading.

Other MLK Symposium highlights include:

* Opening Lecture with Julie Chavez Rodriguez, human rights activist and
granddaughter of civil and labor rights activist Cesar Chavez, at 4 p.m.
Jan. 15 in the Michigan League Vandenberg Room. Chavez Rodriguez is
programs director for the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation and heads the
National Youth Leadership Initiative, which addresses academic and civic
engagement among youth.

* Closing lecture with writer Pearl Cleage at 1 p.m. Jan. 30 in the
Michigan Union Pendleton Room. Cleage draws on her experiences as an
activist for AIDS and women's rights, and she cites the rhythms of black
life as her muse. Her first novel, "What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary
Day," was an Oprah Book Club selection in 1998 and appeared on the New
York Times best-seller list for nine weeks.

* MLK Symposium Student Concert featuring Janelle Monae at 8 p.m. Jan.
16 in the Michigan Theater. Tickets are $12 and available through the 
Michigan Union Ticket Office <>  and through
Fighting Obstacles Knowing Ultimate Success representatives.

* Imagine Futures - Does the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,
Intersex Community in Africa have reason to celebrate? 7 p.m. Jan. 21
with Sokari Ekine, Educational Conference Center, School of Social Work,
examines rampant homophobia in several African nations and activist
efforts to address the problem.

* Charting a Course for the Next Generation with author Marian Wright
Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, is at 4
p.m. Jan. 27 in the Michigan Union Ballroom. Edelman will address the
hardships faced by millions of children plagued by poverty, poor health,
illiteracy, violence and more.

* Midwest Hip Hop Summit, Feb. 6-7 in the University Club, Michigan
Union, seeks to advocate a broader vision of hip-hop culture than that
portrayed in stereotypes on TV and radio. Appearing are hip-hop artists
Little Brother, OneBeLo, Invincible and more. It also features several