The University Record, February 6, 1995

A note of thanks

On behalf of the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic and Multicultural Affairs (OVPAMA), I want to thank and congratulate the campus and Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti communities, as well as the Ann Arbor Public School system, for a successful 1995 Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance.

This year the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission recognized the University of Michigan annual MLK Day observance as the site of one of the nation's major holiday celebrations. We believe our commemorative program is one of the most comprehensive MLK Day observances in the country.

The events of the MLK Symposium sponsored by the OVPAMA, and the many speakers, workshops and exhibits sponsored by campus units and student organizations addressed the issues that characterized and revitalized the life-work of Dr. King. Many weeks and months of planning were necessary to make these events possible, and we are indeed grateful to those who worked so diligently on these projects.

We are especially appreciative of the hard work of the Symposium Planning Committee, and the many planning committees in units throughout the campus. Many crucial issues surrounding this year's theme, "Conflict and Communities: The Struggle for Racial Justice," were discussed and debated, and all who participated were left with the realization that much work remains as we seek to resolve conflict and achieve justice in our communities.

This year's observance brought to campus many renowned spokespersons, such as Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Shirley Chisholm, bell hooks, Dennis Banks, Jane Elliott and Running-Grass. In many cases, featured speakers addressed capacity audiences on the tireless effort toward achieving social justice and racial equality. In addition to the many outstanding lectures, panel discussions and community service projects, the day was filled with sold-out performances by the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble, Sounds of Blackness, the University of Michigan Gospel Chorale and Highest Praise, to name a few.

As a national holiday and an annual series of events on the University of Michigan campus, we look to this day as a starting point for a year-long rededication to the mission of social justice and equality embedded in the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We are indebted to members of the campus and Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti communities for their support of the day's events and we look forward to next year's observance.

Lester P. Monts, Vice Provost for Academic and Multicultural Affairs