posted January 5, 2009

Civil Rights Celebration Events Run Jan. 15-22

The annual Civil Rights Celebration Week at Hope College has been scheduled for Jan. 15-22 in honor of all persons and groups who have worked toward the advancement of civil rights and social justice.

Events will include the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon, an Inauguration Day panel discussion, the Civil Rights Commemorative March and a seminar focused on issues related to diversity.  The activities are timed in conjunction with the national commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 19.

The public is invited and admission is free for all events, although advance registration is required for the luncheon.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon will take place on Thursday, Jan. 15, from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Shirley Malcom, who is head of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The luncheon is co-sponsored and underwritten by Herman Miller Inc.  Registration for the event will continue through Friday, Jan. 9, while space remains available.  Additional information about attending may be obtained by calling the college's Office of Multicultural Education at (616) 395-7867.

A Presidential Election Panel Discussion will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 10:30 a.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.  Presented in conjunction with the day's inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th president in Washington, D.C., the discussion will focus on the election of the country's first black president and the impact and implications of the historic event.  Following the panel, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., will be a televised viewing of the presidential inauguration, also in the Maas Center auditorium.

The Civil Rights Commemorative March will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 21, from 11 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.  The march, which will begin at the anchor in front of Graves Hall, is designed as an opportunity to celebrate the sacrifices and contributions that people of all backgrounds have made for freedom and equality.

A workshop designed for members of the community as well as for the college's faculty and staff will focus on "Cultural Competency for Leaders" and take place on Thursday, Jan. 22, from 2 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the Maas Center conference room.  The workshop will be led by Lee Mun Wah, who is founder and director of StirFry Seminars and a nationally acclaimed lecturer and master diversity and communications trainer.

In addition to the events for the public, the college's Black Student Union and Volunteer Services organization will be presenting an assembly at Vanderbilt Charter Academy on Monday, Jan. 19, that will feature skits about civil rights, the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the work that King and others have done to fight discrimination.  Lee Mun Wah will also be leading a workshop for Hope students on Thursday, Jan. 22, titled "Unlearning Racism" that will consider the conscious and subconscious ways in which racism permeates attitudes and behaviors.

The college's anchor is located on College Avenue midway between 10th and 12th streets.  The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.