HOLLAND – A variety of activities have been scheduled at Hope College on Monday-Saturday, Jan. 21-26, in conjunction with the college’s annual Civil Rights Celebration Week.
The week honors all persons and groups who have worked toward the advancement of civil rights and social justice, and has been organized in conjunction with the national commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 21. Events will include screenings of the film “The Great Debaters,” the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Luncheon, a special Chapel service and the Civil Rights Commemorative March.
The public is invited. Admission to all of the events except for the film is free, although advance registration is required for the luncheon.
The week will open with the college’s Chapel service on Monday Jan. 21, at 10:30 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel with special guest Rev. Robert Stevenson. Stevenson is the senior pastor of City Hope Ministries in Grand Rapids and also serves as an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University as well as Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in African American studies and African American church history. Built around 1 Cor. 12:12-28, his message will focus on activism as an issue of body unity, noting that throughout the history of social change there has always been a collective movement that crosses ethnicity, culture and race.
The Civil Rights Commemorative March will take place immediately following the Chapel service on Monday, Jan. 21, from approximately 11 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. The silent march, which will begin at the anchor by Graves Hall and end on the first floor of the rotunda of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication, provides an opportunity to commemorate the sacrifices and contributions that people of all backgrounds have made for freedom and equality. The march is co-sponsored by the college’s Office of Multicultural Education and multicultural student organizations.
Following the march, there will be a brief presentation honoring past and present social justice activist and movements on Monday, Jan. 21, at 11:15 a.m. on the first floor of the rotunda in the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication. The event will feature remarks by Stevenson as well as poster displays, and is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Education and Campus Ministries.
The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 11:30 a.m. in the Maas Center auditorium. Dr. John Lee, who is a licensed psychologist and coordinator of the Multi-Ethnic Counseling Center Alliance (MECCA) at Michigan State University, will present the keynote address, “What is This Dream All About.” Lee will provide a deep analysis of King’s dream, particularly as it relates to race, culture, and character. The luncheon is sponsored by the college’s Office of Multicultural Education and Herman Miller Inc. Advance registration for the luncheon is taking place until Friday, Jan. 11 for community members and Hope faculty and staff. Hope students have until Thursday, Jan. 17, to RSVP. Registration is through the Office of Multicultural Education, which can be called at (616) 395-7867  or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Social Activities Committee (SAC) will present “The Great Debaters” on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25 and 26, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall. The film is a drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school’s first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship. Admission is $2, payable at the door.
Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street. The anchor in front of Graves Hall faces College Avenue between 10th and 12th streets. The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street. The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 10th Street. VanderWerf Hall is located at 27 Graves Place, between 10th Street and Graves Place (11th Street) and Central and College avenues.