January 16 , 2007
Community service, interactive events highlight King Week
By kim urquhart
Cynthia Shaw, chair of Emory’s Martin Luther King Holiday Observance Committee, recalls with fondness her time as a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church when she would engage the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. in a conversation about his son.
“Daddy King would talk a little bit about his son, and it was clear what an interesting man he was,” said Shaw, director of student development in Campus Life. “Martin Luther King Jr. was more than just a preacher and a theologian, he was interested in a lot of things: music, theater, dance, and of course, service.”
King Week 2007, Emory’s annual celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr., strives “to incorporate King’s diverse interests” through a range of service, education, entertainment and memorial activities, Shaw said.
Emory has one of the few weeklong celebrations, Shaw said. She has chaired the MLK committee for more than a decade and has encouraged the addition of events each year.
“The King Week poster has gotten longer and longer,” Shaw said, though it retains the familiar design sporting King’s profile.
Although the MLK holiday officially kicked off King Week 2007, WSB-TV Evening News Anchor Monica Person served as the keynote speaker of an annual commemorative service honoring King at Crawford Long Hospital on Jan. 10.
On Jan. 15, volunteers from the Association of Emory Alumni, the Caucus of Emory Black Alumni, Volunteer Emory and others planted trees in the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district.
Tonight, King’s spirit of activism and social justice will be embodied in a keynote address titled “The Civil Rights Emergency” by Patricia J. Williams at 7 p.m. in Cannon Chapel. Williams, a Columbia University law professor, MacArthur fellow and a columnist for The Nation, is a prominent law critic concerned with issues of nationality, immigration, race, class and gender.
One of the yearly events during the King Week is a forum titled “Women Talking With Women: Reflecting on Race, Ethnicity and Culture,” an open discussion among women of different backgrounds and experiences. The 12th annual forum will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. in the Center for Women Conference Room in Cox Hall.
Building on the success of a similar forum for men offered for the first time last year, King Week 2007 will feature “Men in Dialogue: Reflecting on Education, Health and Civility” on Thursday, Jan. 18 in the Jones Room of the Woodruff Library at 6 p.m.
An annual highlight is the presentation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. in the Goizueta Business School auditorium.
Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin will headline this year’s program, “Continuing the Dream in the Next Generations.” For more than a decade, the Rollins School of Public Health has hosted this event to recognize and celebrate people and organizations in the Atlanta area whose work exemplifies King’s legacy.
A Jazz Vesper Service featuring Dwight Andrews, associate professor of music, is set for 7 p.m. in Cannon Chapel on Thursday, Jan. 18. “It’s a beautiful service,” Shaw said.
Oxford College will host an ecumenical celebration on Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. The annual service, held at the Old Church, will feature performances by the Interdenominational Choir and the Oxford College Gospel Choir.
Other activities during the week include a panel discussion, “Civil Rights within the International Community,” on Friday, Jan. 19 in the Winship Ballroom, a choral concert honoring King’s legacy and recognizing Emory scholars on Wednesday, Jan. 17 in the Dobbs University Center, and worship services and a series of programs based in campus residence halls.
The Carter G. Woodson exhibit in the Schatten Main Gallery has been extended in honor of King Week, and a new exhibit “Images of Reconciliation: Visual Reflections of the 2005–2006 Journeys of Reconciliation trips to South Africa, Guatemala and Beyond” opened Jan. 15 in Main Gallery of Dobbs University Center.
Shaw encouraged everyone in the Emory community to attend some or all of the events. “This is a wonderful celebration of the life and work of Dr. King,” she said.
Visit www.emory.edu/MLK/ for a schedule of King Week activities. All events are free and open to the public.