posted January 8, 2002

Events Mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Hope College will present its 12th annual commemorative service and keynote address in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The keynote address will be among a series of related activities scheduled before, during and after the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

The public is invited. Admission is free to the events except for a "Remembrance Feast" scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 22.

The Jan. 21 program will feature the theme "One Person Can Make a Difference: Becoming an Agent of Change." The keynote lecturer will be Diane Nash, who was active in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

The service will also feature the Hope College Gospel Choir. A candlelight prayer will follow the service, as will a reception in the lower level of Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

Nash's work is discussed in more than 30 books, in three hour-long television documentaries, and in numerous magazine and newspaper articles. She has appeared on "Oprah," "Today," the Spike Lee film "Four Little Girls" and the award-winning Public Broadcasting series "Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years - 1954 to 1965.

Nash became involved in the non-violent civil rights movement in 1959, when she was a student at Fisk University. In 1960, she chaired the student sit-in movement in Nashville, Tenn., the first southern city to desegregate its lunch counters, and was one of the founding students of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

She coordinated the Freedom Ride, from Birmingham, Ala., to Jackson, Miss., in 1961. Also in 1961, she was director of the action arm of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

In addition, Nash was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to a national committee that promoted passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

From 1961 to 1965, she was a field staff member, organizer, strategist, race relations staff member and workshop instructor for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). She was one of two people who conceptualized and did the initial strategy for the Selma Right-To-Vote movement, and also participated in its development until its conclusion. For their work, she and her co-strategist received SCLC's highest award for 1965, which was presented by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

She was arrested for her civil rights activities many times throughout the South. She was in jail in Jackson, Miss., while pregnant with her first child in 1961, and also served 30 days in jail in Rock Hill, S.C.

In addition, Nash was an activist in the peace movement that worked to end the Vietnam War. She was also an instructor in the philosophy and strategy of nonviolence as developed by Gandhi in India.

The keynote address on Jan. 21 will be preceded and followed by several other events.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, Dr. Lamin Sanneh, professor of history at Yale University, will present "United We Stand Divided We Fall-Faith and Learning" in the Maas Center auditorium at 11 a.m. The talk will be delivered as the college's Pew Faith and Learning Lecture. Admission is free.

The "Collegiate Gospel Fest 2002" will be presented on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The event will feature the Gospel Choirs of Michigan State University, Calvin College, Grand Valley State University and Hope. Admission is free.

The "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Feast" will be presented on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. in Phelps Hall and Cook Dining Hall. The feast will offer a time of reflection on the civil rights movement. Admission is free for Hope faculty, staff and students with an ID, and $5 for the public, payable at the door.

On Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m., "Roots Celebrating 25 Years: The Saga of an American Classic" will examine the legacy and impact of the mini-series "Roots." The event will feature a film and audience discussion, and will be presented in the Maas Center auditorium. Admission is free.

In addition, the college's Chapel service on Friday, Jan. 18, will feature "Perfecting Praise," the Maple Avenue Ministries Gospel Choir; the service on Monday, Jan. 21, will feature Denise Grier, a student at Western Theological Seminary, and the Hope College Gospel Choir; and the service on Wednesday, Jan. 23, will feature C.J. Grier, director of the Hope College Gospel Choir. Each half-hour Chapel service will be presented in Dimnent Memorial Chapel beginning at 10:30 a.m. Admission is free.

Additional information about the keynote address and the other events may be obtained either by calling the college's Office of Multicultural Life at (616) 395-7867 or at the office's web site, www.hope.edu/multicultural