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January 19, 2013 - 6:50pm

University plans activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Although classes are cancelled on Monday, the University is offering a multiplicity of opportunities to learn about racial diversity, cultural inclusion, and, of course, Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership during the Civil Rights Movement.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy, the School of Information has helped to coordinate part of the twenty-seventh annual symposium for this Monday, Jan. 21.

“50 Years Later: (R)Evolution of the Dream” will be marked by over 50 different lectures, rallies and exhibitions at various locations throughout the day, according to the symposium website.

LSA keynote speaker Morris Dees will be starting off the day’s events with his memorial lecture at 10 a.m. in Hill Auditorium. Other speakers continue throughout the day with Dr. Steven Robins’ Martin Luther King Jr. convocation from 1-3 p.m. in the Rackham Auditorium.

Clarence B. Jones, who worked as a speechwriter for the civil rights leader, will be rounding out the day with his lecture entitled “Beyond the Dream: the Making of the Speech” at Blau Auditorium at the Ross School of Business.

Activist Angela Davis will also speak on "Impediments to the Dream: The Prison Industrial Complex and the Dream.” According to a statement from the University, Davis is known for fighting oppression and urging people to think about a world without “social prisons.”

In addition, there are several series of photography exhibitions displaying African-American art based around the theme of social justice and breaking down racial barriers. “Places for the Spirit” will be open at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, featuring the work of photographer Vaughn Sills.

There will also be several opportunities for activism throughout the day. The “MLK March and Rally” presents the opportunity to support affirmative action programs, immigration reform and underrepresented minorities on campus.

LSA sophomore Liana Kallman admits that she’s a bit “over-involved” when it comes to activism.

“There really is nothing like walking through the street with a bunch of people you don’t know, but knowing you share a common goal,” Kallman said.

Kallman added that rallies and marches have the unique ability to unite people.

“I feel like whether you’re in the minority group you’re representing or not, it’s important to show support and make our voices heard,” Kallman said. “This is one of the most effective ways that we can come together and do that.”

President Barack Obama will also be inaugurated on Monday at 11:30 a.m. Daily reporters will be on hand to cover the event live from Washington.