posted January 5, 2010

Civil Rights Celebration Events Run Jan. 15-23

The annual Civil Rights Celebration Week at Hope College has been scheduled for Friday, Jan. 15 through Saturday, Jan. 23, in honor of all persons and groups who have worked toward the advancement of civil rights and social justice.

Events will include the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon; readings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speeches across campus; the civil rights movies "Who Killed Vincent Chin?" and "The Stoning of Soraya M."; and the Civil Rights Commemorative March.  The activities are timed in conjunction with the national commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 18.

The public is invited to all events, although registration took place in advance for the luncheon.  Admission is free to all events except for the film "The Stoning of Soraya M."

Speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be read across campus on Monday, Jan. 18.  The readings will be sponsored by Black Student Union.

The movie "Who Killed Vincent Chin?" will be shown on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication. Vincent Chin was a Chinese-American brutally beaten to death in his Detroit neighborhood after being mistaken for being of Japanese descent. Chin's white attackers blamed him for the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to Japanese automakers. The documentary recounts how this racially charged event led to the beginning of the Asian-American civil rights movement. The presentation is sponsored by Hope's Asian Perspective Association.

The Civil Rights Commemorative March will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 11 until 11:30 a.m.  The march, which will begin at the anchor by Graves Hall and end at the first floor rotunda of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication, provides an opportunity to commemorate the sacrifices and contributions that people of all backgrounds have made for freedom and equality. The march is co-sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Education and Delta Sigma Theta Inc. sorority.

The student organization La Raza Unida will host an Open Mic Night on Thursday, Jan. 21, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.  The event is a night to perform original poems, writings or songs, and to speak from one's own perspective about issues of social justice and/or cultural inspirations.

The film "The Stoning of Soraya M." tells of Soraya M., who is falsely accused of adultery and stoned to death.  The last hope for justice rests with a journalist who learns of her bloody fate in a chance meeting with her aunt Zahra. He must escape Iran, taking Zahra's voice with him, and share the horrific end to Soraya's life with the world. Based on a true story, the film will be shown on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22-23, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall.  The presentation is sponsored by the Social Activities Committee.  Admission is $2, payable at the door.

In addition, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon will take place on Friday, Jan. 15, from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Lawrence J. Pijeaux Jr., who is president and chief executive officer of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and will present, "MLK and Birmingham: Turning Point of the Civil Rights Movement."  The luncheon is co-sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Education and Black Student Union, and underwritten by Herman Miller Inc.  Advance registration for the luncheon took place in December.

The college's anchor is located on College Avenue midway between 10th and 12th streets. The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 10th Street. The MaasCenter is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.  VanderWerf Hall is located at 27 Graves Place, between 10th Street and Graves Place (11th Street) and Central and College avenues.