John Echohawk, Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund (http://www.narf.org), will deliver the keynote speech at the Eleventh Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at Utah Valley State College.
Echohawk will also accept the second annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for the Advancement of Justice and Human Dignity on behalf of the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). NARF, founded in 1970, has been involved in legal battles concerning treaty enforcement, federal recognition of tribes, land and water-rights claims, and other issues facing American Indian tribes and individuals. His alma matter, the University of New Mexico Law School, notes that NARF and Echohawk have "been involved in most of the major Native American litigation" since the 1970s.
Echohawk was a co-founder of NARF and has served as its Executive Director since 1977. A member of the Pawnee Tribe, he is also on the board of organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.
The National Law Journal has consistently named Echohawk one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the nation, and he has received a number of national awards from human rights groups and other organizations, as well as speaking frequently at colleges and other forums.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration will feature a number of other events and speakers, including panel discussions, films, and artistic presentations and displays. Look for an updated schedule at this site in Fall 2004.
Repertory Dance Theatre, an internationally acclaimed modern dance company based in Salt Lake City, will perform "HOMAGE...a provocative evening of dance celebrating diversity and human rights" Jan. 11 at 7:00 at UVSC's Ragan Theater as part of the 11th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration.
The company will present an evening of contemporary works that deal with issues of human rights, including "Commonplace" by Susan Hadley, which was inspired by tragic stories of protest from Argentina and Sarajevo. RDT will also perform "Negro Spirituals" by Helen Tamiris, "Steppin'" by Natosha Washington, "Fin Amours" by Susan Hadley, and "Desert Sea" by Molissa Fenley.
An excerpt from the performance script follows:
Tonight RDT pays HOMAGE.
We honor the contributions of individuals who have championed liberty.
We pay tribute to those who speak out in favor of justice, equality, and dignity for every man, woman, and child.
We celebrate diversity and honor those things that make each individual and each culture unique.
We salute choreographers who have used dance as a means to demonstrate and articulate the importance of human rights.
Tuesday, January 11
11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Ragan Theater
Opening: William Cobb, Dean, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Introduction: Ken Sekaquaptewa, Multicultural Center, UVSC
Presentation of the Martin Luther King Award for the Advancement of Justice and Human Dignity: John Echohawk and Native American Rights Fund
Keynote Address: John Echohawk, Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund
Presentation of Student Awards
1:00-2:15 p.m. Ragan Theater
Panel: "Native American Civil Rights in the 21st Century"
Moderator: Laurie Whitt, Professor of Integrated Studies and Philosophy, UVSC
John Echohawk, Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund
Forrest Cuch, Director, Utah Division of Indian Affairs
Lora Tom, Tribal Chair, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah
Ken Sekaquaptewa, Multicultural Center, UVSC
Dolores Riley, Education Consultant
2:30-3:45 p.m., Sorenson Student Center 206 a&b
Panel: "American Indian Activists: Lessons Learned"
Moderator: David Wilson, Assistant Professor of History, UVSC
Albert Winkler, Instructor, Department of History, UVSC
Suzanne Lundquist, Associate Professor of English, Brigham Young University
David Wilson, Assistant Professor of History, UVSC
7:00 pm Ragan Theater
"HOMAGE...a provocative evening of dance celebrating diversity and human rights," performed by the Repertory Dance Theatre
Wednesday, January 12
9:00-9:50 a.m. Ragan Theater
Video: A Place at the Table
Moderator: Jenny Chamberlain, Director, Equity in Education, UVSC
10:00-10:50 a.m. Sorensen Student Center 206c
Panel: "Whiteness Theory and African American Literature"
Moderator: Bonnie Kyburz, Assistant Professor of English and Literature, UVSC
Angela Mordecai-Smith, UVSC Student
Kilo Zamora, Executive Director, The National Conference for Community and Justice
11:00-11:50 a.m. Sorensen Student Center 206b
Panel: "Gay Rights as Civil Rights: Philosophical and Constitutional Issues"
Moderator: Lee Mortensen, Professor of English and Literature, UVSC
Martin Kokol, Assistant Professor of Education, UVSC
John MacFarlane, Coordinator, Weekend College, UVSC
12:00-12:50 p.m. Sorensen Student Center 206a
Lecture: "Civil Voices for Civil Rights"
Introduction: Kim Strunk, Assistant Professor and Chair of Dance Department, UVSC
Lecturer: Julie Nichols, Assistant Professor of English and Literature, UVSC
1:00-1:50 p.m. Sorensen Student Center 206b
Lecture: "Civil Rights and Wrongs: Japanese American World War II Test Cases in Comparative
Introduction: Robert Gosper-Espinosa, Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Board
Lecturer: Cherstin Lyon, Instructor, Department of History, UVSC
2:00-2:50 p.m. Sorensen Student Center 206a
Panel: "Civil Rights and Disabilities: The American Disabilities Act and Beyond"
Moderator: Rick Griffin, Lecturer, Department of Political Science, UVSC
Mark Jeffries, Associate Professor of Integrated Studies, UVSC
Kathy French, Associate Professor of Education, UVSC
Kimberly Beck, Director, Accessibility Services, UVSC
3:00-4:30 p.m. P.E. Building, Room 152
Dance Class: "Stepping Inside the Rhythms of Africa"
Introduction: Marlene Neptune, Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Board
Director: Kim Strunk, Assistant Professor and Chair of Dance Department, UVSC, accompanied by Fred Simpson
Thursday, January 13
7:00-9:00 p.m. Computer Science Building, Room 404
Video: Iron Jawed Angels
Moderator: Kathryn Durant-Tew, Non-Traditional Program Assistant, CTE, UVSC