Tenth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Commemoration

January 13th-14th, 2004


Yolanda King, Daughter of Martin Luther King, to Speak at UVSC

Orem - Yolanda King, activist, actress, and the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King, will speak on "Multicultural Diversity: The Next Frontier" at Utah Valley State College on January 13, 2004 at 11:30.

Her speech will be the keynote address for the tenth annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemoration at UVSC's Sorenson Student Center and Ragan Theater Jan. 13-14. The event is free and open to the public, and will include panels, workshops, and film screenings on themes related to Civil Rights.

King will also become the first recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for the Advancement of Justice and Human Dignity, which will be awarded annually to individuals who have made a substantial contribution to Civil Rights on a national or state level, according to William W. Cobb, Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at UVSC.

"This award will provide us with the opportunity to personally thank a member of Dr. King's family for his devotion to the struggle for racial justice and civil rights, and for remaining the great inspiration that he is today, even 35 years after his death," said Cobb.

The awarded ceremony and keynote address will be broadcast live on KULC Channel 9 (see kulc.org for translator information.)

In addition to King's speech, the Commemoration will feature papers by students and faculty of UVSC, a reading by local author Chris Crowe, a film series, and a world dance presentation. A schedule of events is available at the Commemoration web site at http://www.uvsc.edu/events/mlk/.

King sits on the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and is the founding director of the King Center's Cultural Affairs Program. She is active in human rights organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

King also has appeared as an actress in films, portraying Rena Evers in the film Ghosts of Mississippi, Rosa Parks in the televised movie King, and Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, in the film Death of a Prophet, among other roles. She has taught acting courses at Fordham University, staged a one-woman production titled "Achieving the Dream," and was co-founder of a performing arts company, Nucleus, with Attallah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz.

Area educators and their students are invited to attend the Commemoration. Informational flyers are available at the Commemoration website.

For more information, please contact Dr. Lyn Ellen Bennett of the History Department at UVSC (801-863-8136; bennetly@uvsc.edu).

Utah Legislators to Participate in Hate Crimes Bill Discussion

House Bill 85, the controversial Hate Crimes bill currently under consideration by the Utah State Legislature, will be the subject of a roundtable discussion at Utah Valley State College Jan. 13 at 1:00 p.m.

The bill, which would enact harsher penalties for crimes motivated by race, color, nationality, ancestry, age, gender, disability or sexual orientation, is similar to laws in other states, some of which are currently being considered by the courts.

The roundtable discussion will include the perspectives of both those in favor of and opposed to the bill, and will include state legislators. The event is part of the Tenth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at Utah Valley State College. It will take place in Room 206 of the Sorenson Student Center.

Local Author Chris Crowe to Read at UVSC King Commemoration

Local author Chris Crowe, author of two critically acclaimed books on the Emmett Till case for young readers, will conduct a reading and answer questions at the Tenth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at Utah Valley State College Jan. 13.

Crowe will read from his most recent book, Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of Emmett Till (2003, Penguin Putnam). His previous young-adult novel, Mississippi Trial, 1955 (2002, Penguin Putnam), also deals with the lynching of African-American teenager Emmett Till. Mississippi Trial, 1955 received a Children's Book Award in the Young Adult Novel category from the International Reading Association and recently was awarded the Jefferson Cup Award by the Virginia Library Association.

Crowe is a professor of English Education at Brigham Young University. His reading will begin at 7:00 p.m. at Center Stage in the Sorenson Student Center of Utah Valley State College.

Caldiero, Carney to Perform at Commemoration

Poet and performance artist Alex Caldiero and poet Rob Carney, both faculty members at Utah Valley State College, will perform as part of the Tenth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at UVSC.

Caldiero--polyartist, wordshaker, and poet--will present "THE SITUATION: acts of language in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day." His performance will take place on Tuesday, January 13 at 3:45 p.m. in the Sorenson Student Center, room SC 206A-C. In addition to numerous publications and performances, Caldiero teaches humanities and ethics at UVSC.

Carney, the author of New Fables, Old Songs, will read his recent poem "Fables of Faubus," inspired by former Arkansas governor Orville Faubus, who initially attempted to desegregate schools but succumbed to public pressure and opposed integration. The reading will take place on Wednesday, January 14 at 2:00 p.m. in the Sorenson Student Center, room SC206A.

UVSC Professor to Lead African Dance Class Jan. 14

Come join in an exhilarating, enlivening movement experience that honors and celebrates traditional African dance and music. "Stepping Inside the Rhythms of Africa" is a participatory event, open to all levels. The class will be accompanied by live drumming. Come prepared to move and sweat. The class will be held at 3:00 on Jan. 14 in PE 152, one of the Dance Department's beautiful studios, which has sprung floors and great acoustics.

Kim Strunk, Assistant Professor of Dance and Chair of the Dance Department at UVSC, will be facilitating the class. Kim has extensive experience in Central and West African dance and music and she just recently traveled to Guinea, West Africa for a Dance and Music workshop. She will be accompanied by Fred Simpson and Friends on drums.

Utah Photographer Displays "Agents" at UVSC

Dave Bown, a nationally recognized Utah photographer, will display "Agents," a striking depiction of the slave memorial in Stone Town, Zanzibar, at the Utah Valley State College Library during the month of January.

The photograph, displayed in the library's fourth floor, is presented in connection with the Tenth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at UVSC Jan. 13-14.

"Agents" portrays the memorial built "to commemorate the closing of the slave market and to stand as a reminder of the terrible treatment of slaves," according to Bown. Constructed on the site of a slave auction block, the monument consists of five stone statues of slaves yoked together with chains, in the manner that slaves were yoked together before being transported from Zanzibar.

Films Explore Civil Rights Themes

Several films, each followed by a discussion led by a faculty expert, will be screened as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at Utah Valley State College. The schedule for screenings is as follows:

Tuesday, Jan. 13

"Strange Fruit": 8:30-9:45 a.m., Ragan Theater

"Strange Fruit" is the first documentary exploring the history and legacy of the Billie Holiday classic. Composed originally by a Jewish school teacher, it is one of the most influential protest songs ever written, and its history tells a dramatic story of America's radical past. With the song at its epicenter, the film examines the history of lynching and the interplay of race, labor and the left, and popular culture as forces that would give rise to the Civil Rights Movement. Discussion will follow with Dr. Jans Wager, Associate Dean, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and Associate Professor, Department of English and Literature.

"Race: The Power of Illusion." Episode One, "The Difference Between Us": 10:00-11:15 a.m., Ragan Theater

"The Difference Between Us" examines the contemporary science--including genetics--that challenges our common sense assumptions that human beings can be bundled into three or four fundamentally different groups according to their physical traits. Discussion will follow with Darron Smith, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

"The Murder of Emmett Till": 2:30-3:45 p.m., Ragan Theater

The shameful, sadistic murder of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till, a black boy who whistled at a white woman in a Mississippi grocery story in 1955, was a powerful catalyst for the Civil Rights movement. Although Till's killers were apprehended, they were quickly acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury, and proceeded to sell their story to a journalist, providing grisly details of the murder. Discussion will follow with Dr. Ryan Simmons, Assistant Professor, Department of English and Literature.

Wednesday, Jan. 14

"Race: The Power of Illusion." Episode Three, "The House We Live In": 1:00-2:30 p.m., Ragan Theater

"The House We Live In" asks, if race is not biology, what is it? This episode uncovers how race resides not in nature but in politics, economics, and culture. It reveals how our social intuitions "make" race by disproportionately channeling resources, power, status and wealth to white people. Discussion will follow with Darron Smith, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

"A Time for Justice": 1:00-1:50 p.m., Sorenson Student Center SC206C

"A Time for Justice" offers a history of the Civil Rights movement "as told by its foot soldiers." Jenny Chamberlin, Director of the UVSC Gender Equity office, will conduct a "culture awareness" activity following the screening.

Thursday, Jan. 15

"Separate But Equal": 7:00 p.m., Computer Science Building 404

In conjunction with UVSC's Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration, the "Reel Film" series is screening the 1991 docudrama "Separate But Equal." This film stars Sidney Poitier and Burt Lancaster as opposing counsel in the historical Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. The film accurately documents the bitterly divisive issue of segregation in the public schools.

Broadcast information

The award ceremony and Ms. King's address will be broadcast live on KULC channel 9 (check KULC.org for translator information).