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MLK committee names keynote speaker, calls for events

Carole Simpson, anchor of "World News Sunday," Emmy Award-winning senior correspondent with ABC News and U-M alumna, will be the featured speaker at a January celebration in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Simpson has been a television broadcaster for more than 20 years, and has covered a number of family and social issues for "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings," "20/20," "Nightline," and other ABC news programs and specials. She followed George H.W. Bush throughout his vice presidency and election as president, and she anchored many breaking stories involving the Persian Gulf War, the Tiananmen massacre, the fall of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, and the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings. She often anchors "World News Tonight" in Peter Jennings' absence.

Simpson's address will be one of many activities on or around the 16th annual MLK Day on Jan. 21. This year's theme, selected by the 40-person MLK Symposium Planning Committee, is a quote from Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi: "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." King was impressed with Gandhi's nonviolent movement, and it is said that the Indian leader had a significant impact King's philosophy.

"We are excited about the program, and the theme statement is most appropriate," says John Matlock, associate vice provost and director of Academic Multicultural Initiatives. "We continue to encourage the University community, especially our students, to look inward to change as they engage in the many community service and learning activities. Change always starts from within."

Last year, there were nearly 75 different activities throughout January, and Matlock says it is time for departments to declare their intentions for 2003 events in honor of King. Those wishing to be in the program booklet should log on to to register events. The deadline is Dec. 1.

"The MLK Symposium is always a time that we come together as a university to observe the life of a great national and world leader who made such a difference in his short life," says Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs and professor of music. "Many faculty, students and staff work throughout the year to make sure that we have a successful program and that the U-M continues to observe, in a big way, this important holiday."

As in the past, the community is invited to help judge design work that will be featured on the program booklet and poster. Students from Prof. Dennis Miller's graphics arts and design class have come up with some 20 concepts. They can be viewed during the week of Nov. 18 at the North Campus Pierpont Commons, the Michigan Union and the Huetwell Visitors Center/Student Activities Building.

Andrew Adams III and Silvia E. Carranza, from the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, are the co-coordinators of this year's program. They can be reached at (734) 936-1055.

Important deadline: To have an MLK event listed in all promotional materials created by the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, departments need to register the activities at by Dec. 1. To vote on the design for this year's promotional materials, go to the North Campus Pierpont Commons, the Michigan Union or the Huetwell Visitors Center/Student Activities Building during the week of Nov. 18.


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