MLK Jr. Celebration Honors His Legacy
“Building the Beloved Community—From Horizon to Horizon: Global Women’s Achievements and Concerns” is the theme for the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Andrews University. This year’s events, running Jan. 13–20, will honor the life and legacy of peace-advocating civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. and include a variety of activities to enhance the understanding and appreciation of his service. All public events take place on the campus of Andrews University.
The celebration kicks off with prominent historian, author and long-time political activist Barbara Ransby offering the keynote address for University Forum on Thursday, Jan. 13. The program begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Howard Performing Arts Center and is open to the public. Ransby has published dozens of articles and essays in scholarly and popular venues. In 2003, she authored the award-winning biography Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision. Currently, she continues her activist scholarship in the areas of gender and women’s studies.
Each year, Andrews observes a tradition of having a student present one of King’s sermons. This year’s honored student, John Coaxum, a first-year seminarian, will present, “Three Dimensions of a Complete Life” during New Life Fellowship Worship Service on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 11:30 a.m. in the Seminary Chapel located in the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. The sermon was originally presented by King on April 9, 1967, at the New Covenant Baptist Church in Chicago, Ill.
In recognition of demonstrated service to meet the global concerns of women, Andrews University will honor Demetra Andreasen, Bertha M. King and Jasmine Jacob as the recipients of the 2011 Legacy of Freedom Awards. The Convocation and Awards Presentation will take place Sunday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Seminary Chapel. The keynote speaker is Tricia Wynn of the Lake Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The convocation and awards ceremony will also feature an “End It Now” display that highlights international efforts to eradicate all forms of violence against women.
An essential component of honoring King’s legacy is performing meaningful acts of community service. On Monday, Jan. 17, a group of pre-selected students will provide manicures, hairstyling and makeup for residents at a local women’s shelter. Childcare and snacks will also be provided.
Several other events are planned for the week, including a café poetry reading on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Recreation Center located in the Campus Center. A special MLK Student Symposium Choice will also be held on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 11:30 a.m. (Location TBA.) “The Daughters of Eve: Global Issues and Concerns” choice will be led by Claudia Allen, Kevin Leonor and Darlene Doran. The student scholars will present their original research developed in English 215. Following individual PowerPoint presentations, each student will participate in a panel discussion on the implications and consequences of their recent findings.
The week of events concludes on Thursday, Jan. 20, with a showing of Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority, a film documentary highlighting Mink, the first Asian American woman to serve in the United States Congress (Hawaii). The showing will take place in Garber Auditorium located in Chan Shun Hall at 7 p.m.