Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations scheduled for January – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations scheduled for January

Martin Luther King’s message of hope and social justice remains as moving and relevant today as it was during his lifetime. In honor of King’s legacy, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the city of Geneva will sponsor a week-long series of events, from Monday, Jan. 15 to Saturday, Jan. 20, 2007.

One highlight of the week’s activities will be the keynote address by the Hon. Roy Wheatley King. A graduate of the Syracuse University School of Law, King is a supervising judge of the Rochester City Court system and a lecturer at the State University of New York-Brockport.

The speaker “is both a leader in the community and an expert on the Civil Rights movement,” said Alejandra Molina, assistant professor of Spanish and Hispanic studies and interim director of intercultural affairs, who invited King to the Colleges’ campus. “He is able to navigate in two worlds: as a judge he deals with the everyday life of the people in his courtroom; and as a scholar he can explain the historical and academic components of the struggle for Civil Rights.”

The time and location of the event will be announced.

The schedule of events for the week, ranging from discussion to dance, helps to underline the theme of the celebration: “Remember and Reflect: From Inspiration to Action.”

• Geneva’s Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15 with a march from the Geneva Public Safety Building to First United Methodist Church. The event will feature keynote speaker Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington, D.C., Bureau.

• On Tuesday, Jan. 16 on Colleges’ campus, diners in the Great Hall of Saga will share a birthday cake in honor of King during the evening meal. A community service fair will be held concurrently with the event, featuring tables from the Boys and Girls Clubs, Geneva Head Start and other local organizations. Students are encouraged to sign up for one of the many service projects scheduled for the morning of Saturday, Jan. 20.

• Wednesday features a talk by Mary Salibrici, associate professor in the Writing and Rhetoric program, at 4:15 p.m. in the Intercultural Affairs Office, at 288 Pulteney St. Salibrici will discuss the power of oration during the Civil Right movement in her talk, “Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael: The Power and the Difference.”

Those in attendance will watch video clips and join in a discussion about the differences and similarities between King and his contemporary Carmichael, a Civil Rights activist and student organizer.

• A “Fireside Chat,” featuring Cedric Johnson, assistant professor of political science, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18 in the Intercultural Affairs office. Johnson will discuss “Dilemmas of Black Power Politics.”

• On Friday, Jan. 19 the Colleges will feature an exhibit tracing the history of the local Civil Rights movement. The session begins with a reception at 5 p.m. in the atrium of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. Beginning at 6 p.m., visitors will be entertained with a variety of performances, including the student step dance group, the Hip-NotiQs.

• Saturday, Jan. 20 will conclude the celebration of Martin Luther King’s life and work with a gospel music festival from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in St. John’s Chapel on the Colleges’ campus. The event will feature the Disciples Community Choir of Rochester. A reception will follow.

More information about King's life and work is available at The King Center, including resources on nonviolence and famous works like the “Letter from the Birmingham Jail.”