Alma College Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Week 2007
The power of Martin Luther King’s legacy is that it is remarkably
inclusive, says Laura von Wallmenich, head of the Martin Luther King
Jr. Celebration Week Task Force at Alma College.
“One central part of how Alma College approaches the observance of Dr. King’s birthday is to create opportunities to honor many different themes that are relevant to Dr. King’s legacy, including community service, social justice, diversity, faith and the heroic struggle of African Americans on the long journey to freedom and equality,” says von Wallmenich, a member of the Alma English faculty.
Alma’s King commemoration from Friday, Jan. 12 through Saturday, Jan. 20 emphasizes the importance of social justice, an ideal based on “building and maintaining a society that honors the principles of human rights and social equality,” explains von Wallmenich.
A variety of events are scheduled at Alma, including a keynote address by author Robert Bullard, director of the Environmental Justice Research Center, at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15 at the Remick Heritage Center, Presbyterian Hall. The complete list of events and activities follows. All events are free and open to the public.
Jan. 12/”Pay it Forward: The Giving Game” begins with a film presentation of “Pay it Forward” at 8 p.m. Jan. 12 in the Dunning Memorial Chapel. After the movie, 100 “giving” cards will be passed out and registered online. When cardholders perform a kind act, they pass on their card, encouraging the new cardholder to share kindness and the card with another. Each card transfer will be recorded online so that all witness the ways care and compassion touch numerous lives.
“Although each act of kindness is small, the combined effect, we hope, is one that can be felt across the campus and remind us all that this holiday is not only about the past; it is about our role in deciding what sort of society we are today and will be tomorrow,” says von Wallmenich.
Jan. 14/Artheillia Thompson, an ordained elder of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Detroit, leads a worship service at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 in the Dunning Memorial Chapel to commemorate Dr. King. Thompson serves as the Hunger Action Coordinator for the Detroit Presbytery and staffs the Hunger Ministries Support Team. The service is open to people of all religious backgrounds.
Jan. 15/Alma College students, faculty and staff participate in mock street activism scenarios at campus locations throughout the day. More than 30 student performers will re-enact scenes of civil disobedience from the Civil Rights struggle. The Multicultural Black Student Union in collaboration with Von Wallmenich, history professor Jamie Smith, and communications and women’s studies professor Joanne Gilbert will organize the scenarios.
Jan. 15/A panel discussion on “Finding Environmental Justice in a Dirty World” takes place at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 15 in the Alma College Remick Heritage Center, Presbyterian Hall. The panel will include Robert Bullard, director of the Environmental Justice Research Center, and a panel of local and regional experts. Discussion will focus on environmental issues.
Jan. 15/Keynote speaker Robert Bullard, a nationally renowned activist for environmental justice, presents “Reflections on the Life and Times of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.” at 8 p.m. Jan. 15 at Remick Heritage Center, Presbyterian Hall. Bullard is director of the Environmental Justice Research Center, professor of sociology at Clark Atlanta University, and author of the book Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality. Leading the battle for environmental justice, from dealing with the toxic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to curbing urban sprawl, Bullard tells the stories of frontline warriors who are fighting environmental and human rights abuses. His research and activism challenges government and industry policies that place people of color and the poor at special risk.
Jan. 16/The film “The Color of Fear” is shown from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Jan. 16 in the Smith Room of the Alma College Library. The film about the state of race relations in America expresses the viewpoint of eight culturally diverse men who reveal the pain that racism causes and emphasizes the importance of interracial understanding, acceptance and trust. A facilitated discussion will follow.
Jan. 16/The second annual Alma College Martin Luther King Jr. Poetry Slam features an open microphone and audience participation by faculty and students reading original and published poetry at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 in the Clack Art Center Auditorium.
Jan. 17/The ”Like Water: African Drumming and Dance Workshop” at 3 p.m. Jan. 17 in Jones Auditorium allows participants to physically appreciate a diverse cultural art. The hands-on class focuses on introducing participants to the drums and dancing styles of West Africa. Members of the Like Water Drum and Dance performance ensemble will lead the workshop.
Jan. 17/Teach for America Recruitment Director Jon Gleicher is available to meet with students throughout the day on Jan. 17, with an open forum to take place at 7 p.m. in Swanson Academic Center Room 113. Teach for America provides college graduates opportunities to create change in education reform.
Jan. 18/Alma College Service Learning classes sponsor a blood drive from 11:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Stone Recreation Center at Alma College. Call (989) 463-7971 to register and volunteer.
Jan. 18/Students present their reflections on Dr. King’s message at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 in Dow Science Center L-1. The reflections, a response to a student competition to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, will be judged, with cash prizes awarded to three presenters.
Jan. 20/The Alma College Non-traditional Student Organization sponsors the Area 7 Special Olympics Basketball tournament Jan. 20 at the Stone Recreation Center. Volunteers and spectators are welcome.
Posted: Fri, January 5th, 2007 at 10:38AM