Twelfth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Commemoration

January 10-11, 2006, Ragan Theater and Sorensen Student Center



Civil Rights Crusader Morris Dees to Speak at 2006 Commemoration


"It is doubtful that anyone in America is more hated and feared by the nation's hate groups than lawyer Morris Dees," observed U.S. News and World Report. Dees, co-founder and chief trial counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Council (SPLC), will deliver the keynote speech and participate in a brown-bag discussion during the Twelfth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration at Utah Valley State College January 10.

The Commemoration, with events spanning Jan. 10-11, will also feature a panel titled "Civil Rights in Utah and Utah County" and workshops, performances, and papers by UVSC students, staff, and faculty and by local community members.

Under Dees´ leadership, the SPLC conducts pro bono legal work to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It has been a frequent antagonist of the Ku Klux Klan, having "bankrupt[ed] several Klan organizations" according to the SPLC website (, and has put other white supremacist organizations, such as the Aryan Nations, out of business.

A successful businessperson, he was not directly involved with the Civil Rights movement until a "night of soul searching at a snowed-in Cincinnati airport changed his life, inspiring Dees to leave the safe, business-as-usual world and undertake a new mission," according to the SPLC website. In 1971 he sold his business and co-founded the SPLC with attorney Joseph Levin and Civil Rights legend Julian Bond. His speech at UVSC will be titled "With Justice for All."

Among other awards and honors, Dees has received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award from the National Education Association, the NEA´s Friend of Education Award, the Roger Baldwin Award from the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Young Lawyers Distinguished Service Award from the American Bar Association. He is the author of three books.

For more information, please contact Ryan Simmons at or 801-863-6290.


Centro Hispano Director Ingrid Guzman Honored with MLK Award

Centro Hispano of Provo has been in development for the past five years, and came to fruition three years ago. It is a place where Spanish-speaking persons can meet to make connections with information, resources, and opportunities. It offers assistance and referrals for family problems, especially domestic violence, food and nutrition, cultural activities, immigration, mediation and legal advice, employment, translation, housing, and teaching English. Its primary role is to mentor and guide those who are new to this community through the maze of decentralized services and opportunities that are available. Its goal is to develop leaders and empower members of the Latino community, widening the network of volunteers and those involved in the service to others. It is a young and growing organization that operates primarily through the work of volunteers, and a staff of one--Ingrid Guzman.

In honor of her work, Guzman will receive the third annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for the Advancement of Justice and Human Dignity during Utah Valley State College's twelfth annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Jan. 10 at 10:00.

Ingrid Guzman came to this country 18 years ago from Guatemala. She is the mother of seven children, and after her own difficult experience of domestic violence and living in a shelter, she realized how many people suffer from isolation and lack of resources, often because of language and cultural difficulties in a new location. As she began to navigate her own way through this community, working at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and volunteering with Community Health Connect, she began helping others who struggled with the language barrier. Solving health problems led to family issues, which led to employment and housing issues, which led to immigration and legal issues, all of which were related to education and language issues. Each need was related to a wider web of needs. Translating health forms, connecting others with legal assistance, providing a support group for women and children of domestic violence, teaching English--all these activities were the beginning of Centro Hispano and are only the beginning of the dream she has for this center. With the help of many other non-profit and service organizations in Utah County, especially Timpanogos Community Network and Joan Dixon, the dream of a place where an integrated hub of services are available has become a reality. The dream of Centro Hispano is to provide access to the bounty of this community to all those who live and work here, especially those whose access is restricted because of cultural and language barriers. This is the work of the Centro Hispano and Ingrid Guzman.

--Robert Gosper-Espinosa, Community Representative Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Advisory Board


Ingrid Guzman

Director of Centro Hispano, received the third annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for the Advancement of Justice and Human Dignity


Schedule of Events

All events are free; events are open to the public except where noted with a *

Tuesday, January 10

9:00-10:00 a.m., SC 206 B-C (Note change in location)

Screening of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" Speech
Introduced by Alan Cherry, Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Advisory Board
Dr. King Dream


10:00-11:15 a.m., Ragan Theater

Opening Ceremony:
Welcoming remarks: President William Sederburg
Introduction: William Cobb, Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Presentation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for the Advancement of Justice and Human Dignity
Presentation of the Donner/Galbraith Memorial Scholarship
Presentation of student paper awards
Keynote speech: Morris Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center: "With Justice

11:30 a.m.-noon, Ragan Theater

Dance presentation: Nicole Ortega
"The Tuskegee Experiment"
Introduction: Kim Strunk, Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Board

*Noon-12:45, SC 206A

Brown-bag faculty/student book discussion: A Lawyer's Journey by Morris Dees
Moderator: William Cobb, Dean, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Please RSVP with Ryan Simmons ( or 863-6290)

1:00-2:15 p.m., Ragan Theater

Panel: "Civil Rights in Utah and Utah County"
Moderator: Scott Abbott, Professor of Humanities and Director of the Integrated Studies Program
Gwen Anderson, Director, UVSC Multicultural Center
Gina Cornia, Director, Utahns Against Hunger
Ingrid Guzman, Director, Centro Hispano
Michael Styles, Utah Director of Black Affairs and Project Director, Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Commission

2:30-3:45 p.m., Ragan Theater

Tribute to Rosa Parks
Introduction: Michael Styles, Utah Director of Black Affairs and Project Director, Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Commission
"Salute to Rosa Parks 2005: A Soldier of Courage" by Elaine Hansen, Assistant Professor of Theater
"Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks" by the Teaching Tolerance project of the Southern Poverty Law Center
Rosa Parks

6:00-8:00 p.m., SC 206ABC

Family Fiesta - Sponsored by the UVSC Latin American Club

Celebrate cultural diversity in a fun-filled, family-oriented atmosphere. Experience Latin American culture hands-on by learning to make cultural crafts, enjoying Latin dance entertainment (dance instruction will also be held), and sampling traditional foods. All ages are welcome.

6:00-8:00 p.m., Centre Stage

Musical Performance: The Senders
The Senders

The Senders play rock, folk, soul, blues and do it all with their own style--powerhouse vocals and musical arrangements that stir your soul and move your feet. Comprised of veteran Utah musicians, The Senders will play songs about hope and justice in honor of Dr. King's legacy. They offer a fun and inspiring musical event that demands--and rewards--attention.

Wednesday, January 11

9:00-10:00 a.m., SC 206A

Panel: "Cinematic Representations of Blackness"
Moderator: Rick Moody, Film Program Coordinator, UVSC
John Goshert, Assistant Professor of English: "The Seduction of Power in Spike Lee's Bamboozled
Ryan Simmons, Assistant Professor of English: "Citizen Kane and Race"
Jans Wager, Associate Professor of English: "Jazz and Cocktails: The Black and White Mix in Film Noir"

10:00-11:00 a.m., SC 206B

Panel: "The Immigrant Experience in Utah"
Moderator: Debora Ferreira, Assistant Professor of Portuguese
Luci Dillon, Reporter, Deseret News
Luz Robles, Director, Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs
Pamela Perlich, Senior Research Economist, University of Utah

11:00 a.m.-noon, SC 206C

Panel: "Slave Narratives: Issues and Implications for 21st-Century America"
Moderator: Rob Cousins, Associate Professor of English
Hannah Clark, UVSC Student: "The Common Ground of Women"
Lorraine Simmons, UVSC Student: "Living in a World of Two-ness"
Katelyn Nielsen, UVSC Student: "Asserting Individuality Will Inspire Change"

11:00 a.m.-noon, SC 206A

Panel: Immigration: Problems and Proposals
Moderator: Brett Breton, Assistant Director, UVSC Multicultural Center
Nick Connor, UVSC Student: "Liberty and Justice for All?"
Henderson Silva, UVSC Student: "Brazilian Immigration to Utah: An Oral History"
Gina Weissgerber, UVSC Student: "Aliens in America: Immigration, Solidarity, and Fear in the Age of Terrorism"

Noon-1:00 p.m., SC 206B

Panel: "Resistance Activism, and the Right to Vote"
Moderator: Phil Gordon, Chair, Department of Communication
David Keller, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director, UVSC Ethics Center: "Breaking the Law! Civil Disobedience as a Moral Imperative"
Luke Peterson, Grant Writer and Research Assistant, UVSC: "Sink, Swim, or Bail Out: Saving Sections Four and Five of the Voting Rights Act"
Jan Wellington, Associate Professor of English: "The Music of Civil Rights"

1:00-2:00 p.m., SC 206C

Panel: "Public Education for All: Equity Issues"
Moderator: Numsiri Kunakemakorn, Assistant Professor of Education
Jessie Bushman, UVSC Student: "Keeping Competition Out of Education"
Monica Carlson, UVSC Student: "The Meaning of Educational Equity"
Kay Smith, Assistant Professor of English: "The ABCs of the Achievement Gap"
Dani Eyer, Executive Director, ACLU of Utah: "Utah's Constitutional Mandate for Free Nonsectarian Education: Contemporary Issues"

1:00-2:00 p.m., SC 206A

Workshop: "Race Relations 101: Getting the Categories Out of Your Interactions with Others"
Moderator: Ron Hammond, Professor of Sociology

This presentation focuses on learning to correct the interpersonal interaction error of thinking of individuals and groups at the categorical level as opposed to the one-on-one interpersonal level. It includes hands-on exercises, national data, theoretical applications, and most importantly strategies for managing categorical thinking errors.

2:00-3:00 p.m., SC 206B

Panel: Latinos in Utah: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives"
Moderator: David Knowlton, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science
Nathan A. Bigler, UVSC Student: "House Bill 144 and Utah Valley's Undocumented Students"
Aaron Olsen, UVSC Student: "Provo's Undocumented: Educating Children Regardless of Legal Status"
Tara Owen, UVSC Student: "Illicit Drug Use by Immigrants: Social and Phenomenological Death of Latino Immigrants"
Taralyn Sowby, UVSC Student: "Hispanic Immigrant Health Care in Utah County"

2:00-3:30 p.m., Centre Stage

Kevin Giddins

Workshop: "Diversity and Theater: Using the Arts to Educate"
Leader: Kevin Giddins, Franklin Covey Speakers Bureau

What is diversity, and why are people sometimes afraid of this word? Using dance, theatrical performance, and the role-playing experience BaFá BaFá, nationally recognized speaker Kevin Giddins will entertain and educate.

Thursday, January 12

11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., LC 243

Related event by the UVSC Center for the Study of Ethics:

Lunchtime Ethics Open Discussion:
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail"