posted January 5, 2011

Civil Rights Celebration Events Run Jan. 17-22

 A variety of activities have been scheduled for the campus community on Monday-Saturday, Jan. 17-22, in conjunction with the college's annual Civil Rights Celebration Week.

The week honors all persons and groups who have worked toward the advancement of civil rights and social justice, and has been organized in conjunction with the national commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 17.  Events will include screenings of the films "Traces of the Trade" and "The Garden," the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon and an "Open Mic Night."

Admission to all of the events is free, although advance registration is required for "Traces of the Trade" and has concluded for the luncheon.

The week will open with an opportunity to attend a screening of "Traces of the Trade" on Monday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m. at Grand Rapids Celebration Cinema North.  Through the documentary and personal commentary, producer/director Katrina Browne will tell the story of her forefathers, the largest slave-trading family in U.S.  The film follows Browne and nine fellow family members on their journey as they come face-to-face with the history and legacy of New England's hidden enterprise.  Browne is a co-founder (1991) for an AmeriCorps program called Public Allies, which seeks to recruit more young people and people of color into the public-interest sector.  The screening has been scheduled in collaboration with the West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative.  The college's Office of Multicultural Education will be arranging transportation to the event from campus.  Those interested in attending should contact the office at or (616) 395-7867.

The college's Chapel service on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 10:30 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel will feature Carolyn Maull McKinstry, who will also be speaking earlier in the week during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon (advance registration for the luncheon took place in December).  Carolyn Maull McKinstry is a survivor of the September 1963 bombing of the SixteenthStreetBaptistChurch in Birmingham, Ala., and is currently president of the Board of Directors of the Sixteenth Street Foundation Inc., whose mission is the ongoing maintenance of the historic building.  She is active with numerous volunteer activities and organizations, and spends much of her time traveling and talking with young people about her experiences of the 1960s, making them relevant to today's environment.

An "Open Mic Night" has been scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 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.  It is co-sponsored by La Raza Unida, Black Student Union, Hope's Asian Perspective Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the Theta Gamma Pi Sorority.

The Social Activities Committee (SAC) will present "The Garden" on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21 and 22, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall.  The film tells of the 14-acre community garden - the largest of its kind in the United States - that rose from the ashes of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and is now threatened by development.

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 11:30 a.m. in the MaasCenter auditorium.  Musical entertainment will be presented by the IMANI Gospel Singers, and the keynote speaker will be Carolyn Maull McKinstry.  The luncheon is co-sponsored by the college's Office of Multicultural Education and Black Student Union, and Herman Miller Inc.  Advance registration for the luncheon took place in December.

Grand Rapids Celebration Cinema North is located at 2121 Celebration Drive NE in Grand Rapids.  The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.  The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 10th Street. VanderWerf Hall is located at 27 Graves Place, between 10th Street and Graves Place (11th Street) and Central and College avenues.