Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Yale will mark the national holiday commemorating the Reverend Martin Luther
King Jr. with a program of events titled “The Beloved Community,” Friday-Monday,
These events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.
Inner-city youths and college
The importance of education will be the theme of a talk by Norman Newberg,
adjunct associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate
School of Education, at 8 p.m. on Jan. 18, in the Joseph Slifka Center
for Jewish Life at Yale, 80 Wall St.
His talk, “Inner-City Youth and the Promise of a College Education,” will
look at how 112 African-American high school students from Philadelphia responded
to, accepted or ignored the offer of an all-expenses-paid college education,
made by philanthropist George Weiss, founder of the Say Yes to Education Foundation. Newberg was the first executive director
of the foundation.
“Fulfilling the Dream”
A range of religious and ethnic organizations and local spiritual leaders will
present a program of music and inspirational readings, titled “Fulfilling
the Dream: Intercultural Reflections on Dr. King,” at 7 p.m. on Feb.
19 in Battell Chapel, corner of Elm and College streets,
Participants will include the Yale Gospel Choir, Jews for Justice, Muslim Student
Association and local spiritual leaders.
“Environmental Injustice: The Other Inconvenient Truth” will be the
title of a talk by environmentalist Jerome Ringo on Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. in the
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Ave. Ringo is past chair
of the board of the National Wildlife Federation.
His talk, the seventh annual Arnold J. Alderman Memorial Lecture, is part of
the Peabody Museum’s annual two-day celebration “Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice.” The museum
will offer free admission noon-4:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on
Jan. 21. Other activities include performances and fun and educational activities
for all ages. For information, visit the website at www.peabody.yale.edu.
Play and voter registration
“The Fannie Lou Hamer Story,” a play depicting the struggles of one
black woman to gain the right for African Americans to vote and be involved in
the political process, will be presented at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 at the Afro-American Cultural Center, 211 Park St.
Born into a family of sharecroppers in Mississippi in the early 20th century,
Hamer became a prominent member of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi’s “Freedom Summer” for
the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later became the vice-chair
of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, attending the 1964 Democratic
National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. There, she came to national
attention when she testified before the Credentials Committee about the beatings
she’d received at the hands of white jailers when she was arrested for
her civil rights activities.
The one-person play was created and will be performed by singer-actress Mzuri,
who became intrigued with Hamer after seeing an interview with her. Mzuri will
also sing songs from the era of the civil rights movement, including “Strange
Fruit,” “We Shall Not Be Moved,” “Battle Hymn of the
Republic,” “Come by Here,” “This Little Light of Mine” and
A “talk back” with the actress and a voter registration session
will follow the play. The event is co-sponsored by the Afro-American Cultural
Center, Yale NAACP, Heritage Theater Ensemble and Yale’s Office of New
Haven and State Affairs.
MLK Day schedule
Several special events have been planned in conjunction with the national observance
of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 21.
Throughout the day, the public spaces on campus will feature looped film footage,
ticker tape messages or other forms of celebration of the civil rights leader’s
legacy (such as several “Walls of Dreams” where students can write
their thoughts as they move through their day).
Other programs include:
8 a.m.-1 p.m.: A conference featuring workshops and performances for youth
and adults at the Wexler-Grant Community School, 55 Foote St. Breakfast and
lunch will be provided.
9 a.m.-noon: “MLK Day of Service,” a chance to participate in service
projects organized by Dwight Hall at Yale. These projects include voter registration,
Habitat for Humanity, the Food Bank and more. Interested volunteers should
gather at 9 a.m. at Dwight Hall, 67 High St. Transportation will be provided.
At 12:30 p.m., volunteers will get together for lunch and a discussion of their
community service activities.
3-4 p.m.: A panel titled “On Hope: Imagination, Optimism and Race in
America” at the Afro-American Cultural Center, 211 Park St. Participants
will include Yale faculty members Jonathan Holloway (History, African American
Studies), Emilie Townes (Divinity School) and Andre Willis (Divinity School).
5:30 p.m.: “MLK Gala Dinner,” featuring a screening of “Homecoming … Sometimes
I Am Haunted by Memories of Red Dirt and Clay,” in Pierson College, 261
Park St. All undergraduate and graduate/professional students are invited,
but seating is limited. To R.S.V.P., send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
with “MLK Gala Dinner” in the subject line by noon on Jan. 18.
The event is co-hosted by the Yale Sustainable Food Project and the Afro-American
8 p.m.: “Vespers for Peace,” a candlelight service in Dwight Chapel,
67 High St. Music and meditations will focus on peace and justice in honor
of King’s legacy. The event is sponsored by the Institute for Sacred
Music and the University Church.
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