'Cousin Jeff' Johnson Headlines Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Martin Luther King Jr. was the voice of his generation. Who will be the voice of this generation?
That is the question that students, faculty, staff and other guests will focus on during Alma College's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration Jan. 21 through 24. This year's theme is "Voices of a Generation: Music, Media and Social Activism."
Activities include the third annual MKL Poetry Slam, second annual Reflections Contest, campus blood drive, panel discussion and the keynote speech by Black Entertainment Television personality "Cousin Jeff" Johnson.
'Cousin Jeff' Johnson
is described as a gifted leader both in the political and entertainment
arenas. A social activist, international journalist and executive
producer, he has served as senior advisor for media and youth outreach
for People for the American Way, national youth director for the NAACP,
and vice president for the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.
He is best known as the host and producer of The Cousin Jeff Chronicles, a series of mini-documentaries that air on Black Entertainment Television. A powerful and fiery orator, Johnson appears weekly on Rap City, engaging and enlightening a nation of young viewers on important political and social issues.
"Johnson discusses the importance of finding new social leaders," says Alma College faculty member Jamie Smith, coordinator for this year's MLK observance at Alma. "He encourages students to rise up to meet the challenges of the 21st century.â"
As a voice for social change, Johnson is passionate about his message.
"The youth of today are the leaders of today," he says. "If we fail to sow the seeds of education and real leadership into our young people today, we will be forced to reap the weeds of our ignorance verses the flowers of our love tomorrow."
A variety of MLK events are scheduled at Alma. All are free and open to the public.
Jan. 21/A panel discussion on "Voices of a Generation: Music, Media and Social Activism" takes place at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21 in the Dow Science Center, Room L-1, at Alma College. Panelists include keynote speaker Jeff Johnson, social activist and documentary producer Tim O'Brien, jazz musician and radio personality Michael Johnston, and hip-hop culture scholar and Central Michigan University professor Donald Matthews.
Jan. 21/ "Cousin Jeff"Johnson delivers the keynote address at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21 in the Remick Heritage Center.
Jan. 22/The film Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin is shown at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 in the MJJ Smith Room of the Library. The film profiles the 1960s civil rights leader and gay rights activist.
Jan. 22/Michigan Service Scholars (MSS) training takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 in the Dow Science Center, Room L-4. MSS is an AmeriCorps program that encourages students to serve on their campuses and in their communities.
Jan. 23/Alma College Service Learning classes sponsor a campus blood drive from 11:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the Stone Recreation Center. Call 463-7971 to register and volunteer.
Jan. 23/The third 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. Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the Clack Art Center Auditorium.
Jan. 24/Students, faculty and staff are welcome to join Habitat for Humanity to serve the Community Cafe meal provided by Sodexho through meal/point donations from students, faculty and staff. The meal is served from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 at First Presbyterian Church.
Jan. 24/Students present their reflections on Dr. King and his legacy at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Dow Science Center, Room L-1. Submissions for this second annual Reflections Contest will focus on this year's theme: "Voices of a Generation: Music, Media and Social Activism." Submissions are due Jan. 18. The submissions will be judged, with cash prizes awarded to three presenters. Pizza will be provided.
Posted: Thu, January 10th, 2008 at 9:33AM