Middlebury

College honors the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 21

January 4, 2008

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Middlebury College will host its 10th annual celebration honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. titled "Remembrance and Reflection" on Monday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. in Mead Chapel, located on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125). The evening will include musical performances by François Clemmons and the Middlebury College Spiritual Choir, student readings of King's speeches, a greeting from Vermont Governor and Middlebury alumnus James Douglas, and a keynote talk by Vijay Prashad, the George and Martha Kellner Professor of South Asian History and the Director of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. A reception will follow immediately at Hillcrest Environmental Center, located across Hepburn Road from Mead Chapel. The event and reception are free and open to the public.

Prashad will give a talk titled "On Commitment: Considerations on Political Activism on a Shocked Planet." Noting that most members of the class of 2011 were born in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down and the year the Cold War officially ended, Prashad believes the world for this emergent generation is framed by the kind of politics that emerged after 9/11 - gloom and fear, self-righteous militarism and hateful revanchism. His talk will explore the ideas of finding a new foundation for politics in a world shocked by permanent war and stubborn intolerance and pose the question, How do we make lifetimes of commitment for what Martin Luther King called the creation of a "beloved community"?

Prashad is the author of 11 books, including two that were chosen by the Village Voice as the top 25 books of the year, "Karma of Brown Folk" (2000) and "Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity" (2001). His most recent books are "The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World" (2007) and "Dispatches from Latin America: Experiments Against Neoliberalism" (2006).

François Clemmons and the Middlebury College Spiritual Choir will perform as part of the Remembrance and Reflection on Jan. 21.

François Clemmons is the Alexander Twilight Artist-in-Residence at Middlebury College. A versatile performer, Clemmons is the founder of the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble, and the creator of the role of the friendly police officer, Officer Clemmons, on the Emmy Award winning television show, "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."

The Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Jan. 21 is the culminating event in a weekend of activities honoring the civil rights leader, including a book display, lecture, day of service, film screening, peace walk and candlelight vigil. All events are free and open to the public.  For more information, contact Jennifer Herrera in the Middlebury College Office for Institutional Diversity at 802-443-5743.

To follow is a schedule of events in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.:

10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Middlebury College

Jan. 18-21, 2008

Friday, Jan. 18-Friday, Jan. 25
Book Display
Display of books related to Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights
Middlebury College Library Lobby, located on Storrs Avenue off South Main Street (Route 30)

4:30 p.m. Cafecito Hour Lecture Series presents
"Songs for the Unsung: Reading Poems of Social Change"

Folashadé Alao, dissertation fellow in American Studies, Kareem Khalifa, bass
Poetry reading accompanied by bass, including poems by Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Rita Dove, June Jordan, Alice Walker, and Sterling Brown as well as works by Hispanic, Asian, and Jewish American poets. These works underscore how artists use the form of poetry as tool for social change.
Lounge of Carr Hall, located on College Street (Route 125)

Saturday, Jan. 19
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Day of Service
"Make It a Day On, Not a Day Off!"
Middlebury College faculty, staff, and students will participate in community service projects to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For more information contact Ashley Calkins jcalkins@middlebury.edu

1:30-3 pm Page One Literacy MLK Reading Program
Families are invited to join Page One Literacy for reading and craft activities. This event is organized in part with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
Ilsley Public Library, Main Street, Middlebury

7 p.m. Film Screening and Discussion: "Standing On My Sisters' Shoulders"
The award-winning documentary "Standing On My Sisters' Shoulders" takes on the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi in the 1950s and 60s from the point of view of the courageous women who lived it - and emerged as its grassroots leaders. These women stood up and fought for the right to vote and the right to an equal education. They not only brought about change in Mississippi, but they altered the course of American history.
Room 103, Hillcrest Environmental Ctr, located on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125)

Sunday, Jan. 20
3 p.m. Today's Civil Rights Movements: Peace Walk

Starts at Middlebury town green, proceeds to Mead Chapel

4 p.m. Candlelight Vigil
Mead Chapel, located on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125)

Monday, Jan. 21
7 p.m. "Remembrance and Reflection"
Musical performances by Middlebury College Alexander Twilight Artist-in-Residence François Clemmons and the Middlebury College Spiritual Choir; student readings of King's speeches; a greeting from Vermont Governor and Middlebury alumnus James Douglas; and a keynote talk by Vijay Prashad, the George and Martha Kellner Professor of South Asian History and the Director of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. A reception will follow immediately at Hillcrest Environmental Center.
Program: Mead Chapel, located on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125)
Reception: Hillcrest Environmental Center, located on Hepburn Road across from Mead Chapel