You’re Invited to King Day Celebration at Davidson College

Davidson College invites the public to celebrate Martin Luther King Day 2010 by attending a number of educational, musical and inspirational events at the college on Monday, January 17, and Tuesday, January 18.

Monday’s events include a 9:30 a.m. “Walk for Change,” activities for youngsters, a free word poetry presentation, seminars on racial relations and matters of justice, and an evening gospel concert.

Just one event will be held on Tuesday. Poet and social activist Nikki Giovanni will speak at 11 a.m. in Duke Family Performance Hall.

There is no admission charge to attend any of the events. For more information, call 704-894-2225. The complete schedule is below.

Monday January 17, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Walk for Change
9:30 a.m. beginning in Richardson Stadium
Sponsored by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
The walk will proceed about 1.5 miles around campus, and conclude on the front steps of Chambers Building with the reading of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

King Day for Kids
9:30 a.m to 11:30 a.m.
Alvarez College Union
C. Shaw Smith 900 Room
King Day for Kids focuses childen on literacy, social justice, and community involvement. Youth (kindergarten through 5th grades) will take part in a “read –in,” storytelling, and bookmaking. At the end of the session, children will receive literacy-based goody bags. Please RSVP by calling 704-894-2872.

“Poetic Reflections of Social Justice”
11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Alvarez College Union
C. Shaw Smith 900 Room
Davidson student members of the Free Word Spoken Word Club will bring to life the historic voices of social justice through poetic expression.

MLK Seminar Series

1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Women of Color and Visions for a Just Future
Alvarez College Union Room 302

Presenter: LaKisha Michelle Simmons, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of History
In 1970, Toni Cade Bambara published the anthology The Black Woman, one of the foundational texts of the black feminist movement. Bambara collected essays, poems and stories by Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, Audre Lorde, singer Abbey Lincoln and Chinese American activist Grace Lee Boggs. This session will look back at The Black Woman to consider what that text can teach us about envisioning a racially just future.

The King Legacy and Responses to Environmental (In)Justice
Alvarez College Union Room 313
Presenters: Matt Samson, Visiting Asst. Professor of Anthropology and Annie Ingram, Thomson Prof, of Environmental Studies and Professor of English
The presenters will examine Dr. King’s language on social justice and community and its relationship to environmental and sustainability movements today. Participants will be invited to consider how the social ethic underlying the Civil Rights movement is alive and well in the contemporary efforts to foster environmental justice, particularly in the post-Katrina world in which we live.

Film: “Citizen King the Documentary”
C. Shaw Smith 900 Room
This film explores the last few years of the life of Dr. King. It traces his efforts to recast himself by embracing causes beyond the civil rights movement, becoming a champion of the poor and an outspoken opponent of the war in Vietnam.

3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Isn’t Stepping For Everybody? Racial Divisions as a Communicative Barrier to Building Community.
C. Shaw Smith 900 Room
Presenter: Dr. Damion Waymer, Visiting Professor, Communications Department.

Normative communication theories suggest that organizations, via communication, have a social responsibility to help build community and to help make society more fully functioning. However, divisive social constructs (such as race) must be considered carefully so that such a vision of society (very similar to King’s Dream) can be realized. This presentation explores contemporary racial challenges. It demonstrates that organizations must understand the history and challenges of race if they are to demonstrate their commitment to diversity via actions—and not just through their Web sites or mission statements.

Lessons with a Leader: A Conversation with King
Alvarez College Union Room 313
Presenter: Julia Jones, Director of the Chidsey Center for Leadership Development

This session will use the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a starting point to focus on leadership. King spoke of concepts like molding consensus, creative altruism, unconditional love, and power. What do his words mean for our leadership today?

MLK Community Celebration Gospel Extravaganza
7 p.m. in Duke Family Performance Hall
This gospel concert will include music by the Davidson College Gospel Choir, K.J. Sciven of Fayetteville, Shameka Dwight of Columbia, S.C., The New Glory Bounds Singers of Milwaukee, Wisc., and Ronica & The Mighty Blazing Stars of Mooresville.

Tuesday January 18

MLK Community Convocation
11 12 p.m. in Duke Family Performance Hall

Keynote speaker Nikki Giovanni (in photo above) is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator who has taught at Virginia Tech University since 1987. She hasattracted attention over the past 30 years through outspokenness in writing and in lectures. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.”

The civil rights and black power movements inspired her early poetry that was collected in Black Feeling, Black Talk (1967), Black Judgment (1968), and Re: Creation (1970). She has since written more than two dozen books including volumes of poetry, illustrated children’s books, and three collections of essays.
Her most recent work, Bicycles: Love Poems (2009), expresses notions of love in unexpected ways, touching on the deaths of both her mother and her sister, as well as the massacre on the Virginia Tech campus.
She has received about 25 honorary degrees, and was named “Woman of the Year” by Mademoiselle magazine, The Ladies Home Journal, and Ebony magazine. She was tapped for the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and received Governor’s Awards from both Tennessee and Virginia. She was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks “Woman of Courage” award, and has also been awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry. Her autobiography, Gemini, was a finalist for the National Book Award.