The University Record, December 12, 1995

MLK Day activities feature community service

By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services

Editor's Note: A complete listing of U-M events scheduled to commemorate King will be published in the Jan. 9 issue of the Record.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of great eloquence, but he was more than a distinguished communicator. He also was a man of decisive action.

"In the past, apathy was a moral failure," King said during the heart of the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott in 1958. "Today, it is a form of moral ... suicide."

Nearly four decades later, King's words still ring true. In honor of King's dream of action, the MLK Symposium, with its theme, "Affirmation Through Action: The Challenge Continues," will once again make community service an integral part of its celebration of Martin Luther King Day Jan. 15.

"Acting on the Dream," which will take place 1-6 p.m. Jan. 15, gives students, faculty and staff the chance to take part in community service learning at more than two dozen community-based agencies in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and the Detroit area, ranging from youth community centers to homeless shelters to hospitals.

"A number of years ago, Coretta Scott King gave a speech about action and said that's what her husband's dream was all about," says Julie Lubeck, a member of the MLK Symposium Planning Committee. "She really wanted to see people actually doing things and working in the community. So 'Acting on the Dream' was originally developed as a response to what she said, as well as to her husband's dream."

Lubeck said about 300 people are expected to participate. If interested in taking part, call the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, 936-1055, or the Office of Community Service Learning, 763-3548.

In addition to the community service learning project, the MLK Symposium will feature campuswide panel discussions on affirmative action in higher education and the aftermath of this fall's Million Man March, a dramatic reading of King's "I Have a Dream Speech" and a screening/discussion of Ayoka Chenzira's film Alma's Rainbow.

"Affirmative Action in Higher Education," to be held

3-5 p.m. Jan. 15 in Auditorium 3, Modern Languages Building (MLB), will address the future of affirmative action policies at colleges and universities in light of the decision by the University of California last summer to abolish such programs.

Panelists include: Trevor Chandler, executive director, academic affirmative action and diversity, University of California system; Dennis Hayashi, director, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Michael Nettles, professor of education; and Sarida Scott, law student, University of California, Berkeley.

"The Million Man March: Where Do We Go From Here?," to be held 3-5 p.m. Jan. 15 in Auditorium 4, MLB, will provide an open forum for students to discuss issues raised during the Million Man March in October. It is coordinated with the U-M's NAACP, Black Undergraduate Law Association (BULA) and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Panelists include: Michael Fralin, president of the BULA and member of the MLK Symposium Planning Committee; Hanley Norment, president, state of Maryland chapter, NAACP; graduate student Lester Spence; undergraduate Sherise Steele; and Hanes Walton, professor of political science.

The MLK Symposium kicks off with the presention of a dramatic reading of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, followed by commentary from student and community activists, 10 a.m.-noon Jan. 12 in the Mendelssohn Theater, Michigan League.

Presenters include: undergraduate Camilyah Johnson; George Johnson, behavior specialist and youth counselor, Inkster Public Schools; graduate student Ahmad Abdul Rahman; and Thom Saffold, president of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice Steering Committee and director of Christian Education, Bethel United Church of Christ.

Alma's Rainbow, a film drama about African American life in Brooklyn, N.Y., told from the perspective of three Black women, will be shown at 5 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Michigan Theater.

Produced, directed and written by award-winning filmmaker Ayoka Chenzira, the movie has been described as a "hip urban sitcom" by the New York Times. Chenzira, who has made 14 films and produced several works for public television and corporations, teaches film and video at the City College of New York.

Other previously announced events, sponsored and coordinated by the MLK Symposium Planning Committee, include:

MLK Memorial Lecture delivered by former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, the first African American and second female surgeon general, now a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Arkansas Medical School, 10:30 a.m. Jan. 15 at Hill Auditorium.

Boys Choir of Harlem concert, 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Hill Auditorium. Tickets, $10-$24, are available at the University Musical Society box office.

Black Student Union's annual Unity March, noon Jan. 15 at South University Ave. between Forest St. and Washtenaw Ave. For information, call 747-1067.

A performance by Grammy-nominated gospel singer Yolanda Adams with the U-M Gospel Chorale, 8 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Power Center for the Performing Arts. Free tickets (limit two) are available at the Michigan Union box office, 763-TKTS.

In addition, a host of events sponsored by campus units and student organizations also are scheduled Jan. 12-26 to honor King.

For more information on 1996 MLK Symposium events, call Michael Jones-Coleman, 936-1055.