National Public Radio (NPR) commentator and editorialist Tavis
Smiley will headline Emory’s King Week 2003, a weeklong celebration
of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr.
As is the case every year, a range of service, educational, entertainment
and memorial activities define King Week at Emory, beginning with
yesterday’s (Jan. 20) annual Martin Luther King Jr. National
Holiday tree planting in Atlanta’s MLK Historic District.
Tonight’s keynote address by Smiley marks a return to earlier
King Weeks since recent iterations have not featured a keynote address,
said Cynthia Shaw, director of student development in Campus Life
and chair of the University’s MLK Holiday Observance Committee.
“We were able to resurrect the keynote address because of
the help of student organizations,” said Shaw, adding that
one reason it had been dropped is the high appearance fees for potential
Besides hosting “The Tavis Smiley Show” for NPR, Smiley
also hosts “The Smiley Report” for ABC Radio and appears
twice weekly on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” He is
the author of six books, most recently Keeping the Faith: Stories
of Love, Courage, Healing and Hope from Black America, and he is
the publisher of the bimonthly The Smiley Report. Smiley
also started a foundation in his name that seeks to “encourage,
empower and enlighten black youth.”
“Tavis Smiley is a figure who’s got a lot of mainstream
media exposure and who’s using it to bring national concerns
that affect African Americans to their attention,” said Mark
Sanders, professor and chair of African American studies, a cosponsor
of the Smiley lecture.
Smiley’s keynote lecture will be held tonight, Jan. 21, at
7 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium. Free tickets are required and are available
at the Dobbs Center ticket office.
Other notable King Week events include a revised Chapel Tea, held
today at 4:30 p.m. in Cannon Chapel and featuring James Waits, former
dean of the Candler School of Theology and current president of
the Fund for Theological Education. Waits also will lead a worship
service on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 11:15 a.m. in Cannon Chapel.
Also today, at 4 p.m. in Woodruff Library’s Jones Room, is
an opening reception for “Enduring Legacy: Photographs by
Jim Alexander from his Spirits/Martyrs/Heroes Project.” Detailing
more than three decades of work by Atlanta photographer Alexander,
the exhibit chronicles events that influenced the course of African
American history. It will be on display through Feb. 28 in Schatten
At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, the Spelman College Glee Club and
Voices of Inner Strength gospel choir will perform at a concert
and birthday cake celebration to commemorate Martin Luther King
The next day, Jan. 23, at 4 p.m. in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School
of Nursing auditorium, Angela Ferris Watkins, assistant professor
of psychology at Spelman, will be guest speaker for the annual community
service awards sponsored by the nursing school, the Rollins School
of Public Health and Goizueta Business School.
Later in the afternoon on Jan. 24, at 5 p.m. in Cannon Chapel, Campus
Life will sponsor “An Evening with Mercy Amba Oduyoye.”
Oduyoye is Luce Visiting Professor of World Christianity at Columbia
University, and she is former deputy general secretary of the World
Council of Churches (1987–94) and current president of the
Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians.
Other performances, forums, teas and exhibits are associated with
Emory’s King Week activities. For a full listing of events,
visit the University web calendar at