Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, January 14, 2013

MLK Symposium honors 50th anniversary of 'I Have a Dream' speech

The theme "50 Years Later: (R)Evolution of the Dream" will guide the 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium this month, led by keynote speaker Morris Dees, co-founder and chief trial counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).


More information

• For more details on MLK Symposium events, contact Lumas Helaire at 734-936-1055 or

• Go to for the latest updated calendar of events.

The symposium theme celebrates the 50th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. It was delivered in Washington, D.C., at the culmination of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Dees will deliver the symposium's traditional Keynote Memorial Lecture at 10 a.m. Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, at Hill Auditorium. The lecture is presented by the MLK Symposium Planning Committee and LSA, which is sponsoring the winter theme semester "Understanding Race."

Dees co-founded the SPLC in 1971 after winning a series of groundbreaking civil rights cases. In recent years, he has successfully taken on white supremacist hate groups. Dees has received more than 20 honorary degrees and numerous awards and was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal in 2006. The event will be streamed live to the Detroit Center.

The annual series of lectures and other activities to honor the civil rights leader is initiated by students and guided by the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives and the MLK Symposium Planning Committee. It is known as one of the most prominent observances nationally of King's life and legacy.

Some other key MLK Symposium events include:

• King speechwriter Clarence B. Jones with "Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation." It will be presented at 6 p.m. Jan. 21 in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, Blau Auditorium.

• Longtime activist and educator Angela Davis with "Impediments to the Dream: The Prison Industrial Complex and the Dream," from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 21 in the Michigan Union Rogel Ballroom. Her talk will be streamed remotely to the Union Pendleton Room, The Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery, Duderstadt Center Conference Room 1180, and the Detroit Center. Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita from the University of California Santa Cruz, received national attention after being removed from her UCLA teaching position in the 1970s as a result of her social activism. She is known internationally for her work to combat oppression.

• The Business and Finance MLK Day Convocation with Steve L. Robbins, from 1-3 p.m. Jan. 21 at Rackham Auditorium. A Vietnamese immigrant who rose from poverty, discrimination and the tough streets of Los Angeles, Robbins presents perspectives on issues of leadership, inclusion and innovation, and the power of caring.

• "From Cass Corridor to the World: A Tribute to Detroit's Musical Golden Age," at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Hill Auditorium. Jazz pianist and Detroit native Geri Allen serves as music director with the D3 trio, with Robert Hurst on bass, Karriem Riggins on drums, and Marcus Belgrave on trumpet, with guest Detroit artists to be announced.

• "IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas," a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution, celebrates the double heritage of African-Native Americans. It is presented from noon-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday (closed Saturday) through Jan. 31 in the Duderstadt Center Gallery. A website to support teaching with the exhibit is available at It is presented as part of LSA's winter theme semester "Understanding Race."

• "The Making of the Dream: MLK, Detroit and U-M," 4 p.m. Jan. 15, 4701 Haven Hall, with speaker Stephen Ward. He will moderate a discussion of King's participation in the Great March to Freedom June 23, 1963, in Detroit, where the "I Have a Dream" speech was first presented. King's visit to U-M in 1962 and the memorial held in his honor at Hill Auditorium following his assassination in 1968 also will be discussed.

• "La Fuerza: The Influence of Latinos in American Culture & Politics — The Legacy of Cesar Chavez and the Evolution of Martin Luther King's Dream," 4 p.m. Jan. 16, Rackham Amphitheatre, with Christine Chavez, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez and political rights activist. There also will be a panel talking of how the growing Latino population is helping to shape the evolution of King's dream.

• South Asian Awareness Network 2013 Social Justice Conference Day, 5-11 p.m. Jan. 18-19, Michigan League and Rackham Building, with various speakers on issues including women's rights, arts and activism, public health and education.

• 15th Annual MLK Children & Youth Day, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 21, Modern Languages Building, 812 E. Washington. Children's activities include storytelling, guided discussions and group projects, skits, rap poetry and musical performances.

• Martin Luther King Day March and Rally, 11:30 a.m. Jan. 21, in support of the Nov. 15 ruling by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down Michigan's Proposal 2, which banned the use of affirmative action in college admissions. The rally will begin at the corner of South University and South Forest avenues, and move to the Diag.

• "The Prison Creative Arts Project Presents: Mental Health and Incarceration," 12:30-2 p.m. Jan. 21, Anderson Room, Michigan Union, with panelists from the University of California-Berkeley, Georgetown Law and other institutions.

• "Urban Renewal and the Promise of King's Dream," 4 p.m. Jan. 21, Room 100, Hutchins Hall, with Cory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Newark's mission is to set a national standard for urban transformation.

• "Gay Rights: A Civil Rights Success Story?" 10 a.m.-noon Jan. 22, Michigan Union Ballroom. This panel discussion will evaluate the success of gay Americans' pursuit of equal rights through the lenses of law, health, and community activism.

• Panel Discussion and Film Screening of "Black and Blue: The Story of Gerald Ford, Willis Ward, and the 1934 Michigan-Georgia Tech Football Game," 4-6 p.m. Jan. 23, Annenberg Auditorium 1120, Weill Hall, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Speakers are former Sen. Buzz Thomas, grandson of Willis Ward, and Steven Ford, son of President Ford.

UM-Dearborn events include the MLK Day of Service event starting at 8 a.m. Jan. 21 at the University Center; Food Pantry Ribbon Cutting, 9 a.m. Jan. 21, the CIViC, University Center; the Women's Resource Center Noon Day Observance at noon Jan. 22, Kochoff Hall C, University Center; The Power of the Pen, 6 p.m. Jan. 22, Kochoff Hall C, University Center; "We Don't Want Them" traveling exhibit, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Jan. 23, Kochoff B and C, University Center; and "Hidden Voices: The Lives of LGBT Muslims, featuring Faisal Alam," 6:30-8 p.m. Jan. 24, Kochoff Hall B and C, University Center.

UM-Flint events are "Dinner and Dialogue: 50 Years of The Dream," 6 p.m. Jan. 15, Michigan Rooms A&B, University Center; "Race: The Power of An Illusion" film and discussion, 5:30 p.m. Jan. 16 in the KIVA; 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community-Wide Tribute Dinner Featuring Phillip W. Shaltz, 6 p.m. Jan. 17, Sarvis Center; and the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 21. It includes a volunteer breakfast from 7-9 a.m. in the Michigan Rooms, Michigan Blood Drive from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Happenings Room, and 57th Presidential Inauguration Viewing all day in the Loving Cultural Center.

Detroit Center events Jan. 21 include the live streaming of Dees' keynote lecture and Davis' talk, and MLK Children's Activity-MLK Puppets, 10-11:30 a.m.