17th Annual Utah Valley University Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration



“Re-Imagining the Dream”

January 11-18, 2011

Print program

TUESDAY, January 11, 2011

Lee Mun Wah, University of California, Berkeley: Diversity Training sponsored by the UVU Multi-Cultural Office

9 -10:30 am: Unlearning Racism in Schools (Faculty & Staff Dialogue) - Center Stage

10:45 -11:45 am: How to Have a Dialogue Across Cultures (Student Dialogue) - Center Stage

12 - 1 pm: KEYNOTE: Lee Mun Wah, "What Stands Between Us" - Ragan Theater

2:45 -5 pm: Unlearning Racism in Schools cont’d. (Faculty & Staff Dialogue)- Center Stage

7-9 pm: Film Showing & Discussion: Last Chance for Eden - Center Stage


WEDNESDAY, January 12, 2011

9-9:50 am: President Holland “Civil Rights in the Early Days of Martin Luther King, Jr.”Ragan Theater

10-10:50 am: Panel: “We Need Not Fear Each Other: Understanding Muslim Members of Our Community.”SC 206ab

Nancy Rushforth, Facilitator, Associate Professor, Humanities/Integrated Studies
Ruhul Kuddus, Associate Professor of Botany
Farid Islam, Associate Professor of Finance and Economics
Amir Kia, Associate Professor of Finance and Economics
Dr. Talaat AlShuqairat, Imam

Newspaper articles, magazines, televised news programs present evidence daily that those of us from European descent have come to believe, not only that we are “right”, but that we need fear those who look different, dress in a different manner, eat different foods, believe in a different God, and must then be “wrong”. This has been especially apparent recently in terms of European-American attitudes toward Muslim-Americans. This panel, composed of several Muslim members of the UVU community, will discuss Muslim beliefs, emphasize that there are discriminations against Islam, but there are people and institutions that do not discriminate against Islam, and emphasize that a clear understanding of Islam greatly reduces discrimination.

11:00 am-1:00 pm: Panel: “Critical Deaf Theory”SC 206ab

Will Garrow, Facilitator, Assistant Professor, Foreign Languages=Cultural Capital and Community Cultural Wealth
Chrystee Davenport, student-Familial Capital
LauraKay Hunt, student-Navigational Capital
Rylee Rawson, student-Social Capital
Amie Price, student-Aspirational Capital
Rebecca Halls, student-Resistance Capital
Ben Cardon, student-Linguistic Capital

Critical Race Theory examines both the phenomenon of analyzing marginalized racial minority groups through a distorted magnifying glass and the need for shifting the societally established frame from a deficit view of these communities to a clear lens encompassing cultural wealth. Though inclusive in aim, assuming that oppressed cultural minority groups are limited to those associated with race is exclusive in application. Building on this foundation, the panel will expound by launching the idea of Critical Deaf Theory which adapts this theory to evaluate the capitals of cultural wealth related to the culturally diverse minority Deaf community. Assessing the Deaf Community through the lens of DeafCrit the observer is able to discard the deficit view and identify how members are able to pool the cultural wealth of the community to stand up in the face of blatant oppression and wade through a society polluted with discrimination.


11:00 am-11:50 am:Student Presentations:“American Voices: The Talking Book and Popular Music” SC 213b

Lisa Harrison, student: “The Power of the Talking Book”

Many writers of slave narratives followed established patterns in crafting their text. These patterns became rhetorical tools in suggesting the need for literacy. James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, Olaudah Equiano, and Frederick Douglass each created narratives promoting the Talking Book motif as a tool in which they argued for physical and spiritual freedom.

Lindsey Nelson, “Popular American Music in the History of Race Relations”

The Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll, and Hip Hop (to name a beloved few) have all been powerful forces in the unfolding struggle for civil rights, helping to break down the boundaries between the black and white communities.


Noon-12:50 pm:Panel“Imagining Justice in Public Schools: Student Voices for Change”SC213b

Gae Lyn Henderson, Facilitator, Assistant Professor, English and Literature
JoAnna Ward, student: “Social and Academic Effects of Private, Traditional Public, Charter, and Home Schools”
Amber Simmons: “What Education Reformers Can Learn from the Freedom Writers”

This panel presents UVU student researchers who are investigating problems in public schools and imagining solutions. In an English 2010 course, they read Jared Diamond’s essay, “Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions?” to introduce a research focus on public policy decisions and their consequences. Students on the panel decided that one of the most pressing issues facing us today is the state of public schools. Their papers investigate issues of equality to imagine better access for all citizens to high quality education. These papers also demonstrate how first-year UVU writing students rigorously engage with provocative social justice issues and enter the academic conversation of ideas.


1:00-1:50 pm:Student Presentations: “Human Rights”SC206ab

Augustin Diaz, Jr., student: “Utah Immigration Reform: Targeting Hispanic/Latino Populations”

There is a trend of proposals for legislation that counter comprehensive immigration reform. These potential state or local enforcement laws exist to deter immigration south of the border, but will eventually lead to targeting of Hispanic/Latino populations, both legal and undocumented. A Latino pan-ethnic development can and will provide the resistance that will bring oppressive anti-immigration/ Hispanic legislation down.

Suany Riveiro, student: “Child Soldiers No More: The Overlooked Genocide”

Uganda’s “Lord’s Resistance Army” has torn the basis of humane society. “In effect, children abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army become slaves: their labor, their bodies, and their lives are all at the disposal of their rebel captors.” This cruelty is not specific to Uganda, or the African region, it extends to every corner of the world, and must be addressed by the only hope for unified action against the use of child soldiers, the United Nations. The United Nations Security Council ought to treat the use of child soldiers as an international threat and implement and enforce resolutions to end its practice.

2:00-3:15 pm: Panel “The Origins of Race: Eighteenth-Century Perspectives”LI 120 (Library Auditorium)

Nathan Gorelick, Facilitator, Assistant Professor, English and Literature
Jeffrey Davis, student: “Between Freedom and Slavery: The Life and Experiences of Olaudah Equiano”
Haley Larson, student: “Defining the Human as Non-Animal: Examining the Limits of ‘The Human’ in Eighteenth-Century Britain”
Mary Lynn Hingano, “The Sovereignty of Colors”

While the Enlightenment established the philosophical conditions for the political, social and moral realization of universal human rights, many of its greatest thinkers nevertheless sought to limit this new paradigm of equality to an essentially European historical and cultural context. They embellished a notion of racial difference by which the rights and values of Enlightenment thought could be harnessed, perhaps paradoxically, to justify and even morally obligate systems of racial oppression and violence. At the same time, however, popular slave narratives such as The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano and other abolitionist writings took up the discourse of rights in order to insist upon their universality. This gesture would be repeated throughout the nineteenth century and eventually provided the political and moral framework for the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This undergraduate panel addresses the conceptual and historical foundations of racial difference and human rights in key works of eighteenth-century literature and philosophy.

3:30-4:00 pm: Reader’s Theater: “Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins”LI 120

Prelaw Club, facilitated by Eileen Crane, Pre-Law Counselor


THURSDAY, January 13, 2011

10:00 am:KEYNOTE: AMBASSADOR ANDREW YOUNG“The Journey Forward”Grande Ballroom, UVU Student Center.

11:30 am- 1:00 pm:Invitation-only VIP luncheon. Presidential South.

2:30-3:30 pm:Book Discussion led by Ambassador Young: An Easy Burden and Walk In My Shoes LI 120 Library Auditorium, UVU

6:00-8:00 pm: Fine Arts and Awards Reception Awards presented by Andrew Young. Noorda Theater, UVU


MONDAY, January 17, 2011 (official Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday)

8:30 am-1:00 pm: Partnership with BYU for “Day of Community Outreach BYU Wilkinson Center

UVU will host an indoor volunteer opportunity to make quilts for the LINUS Project, File folder games for local Title I schools and winter hats and dolls for Primary Children's Hospital.

5:30 pm: Candlelight processionBrigham Young University Carillon Bell Tower

6:00 pm: BYU Gospel Choir Featuring Darius Gray WSC Ballroom


TUESDAY, January 18, 2011

Noon Coach Herman Boone former T.C. Williams High School football coach portrayed in the film “Remember the Titans” Student Center Grande Ballroom


Gwen Anderson, Director of the Utah Valley University Multicultural Center, received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for the Advancement of Justice and Human Dignity.