January 16, 2011

King Week offers many diverse ways to celebrate legacy

Emory's annual King Week has grown to more than 35 service projects and events this year, offering ample opportunities for faculty, staff and students to get involved and honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of civil and human rights.

From Jan. 17-25, the campus will be abuzz with panel discussions, readings, concerts, art exhibits, memorial services and service opportunities.

Emory's Day On, a massive, campus-wide volunteer effort partnering with more than 20 community organizations, kicked off the week on Jan. 17.

On the national holiday, Volunteer Emory and the Nu Delta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity sponsored a tree-planting effort in the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District in the Old Fourth Ward.

King Week Committee Chair Cynthia Shaw notes that King is often quoted as saying, "Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."

Other Day On projects included mulching and invasive plant removal at Kirkwood Urban Forest Park, landscaping at Oakland Cemetery, and packing medical supplies for developing countries at MedShare International.

"Anything that gives back is keeping with the spirit of King and the University," says Shaw.

Andrew Young, who previously served as Atlanta mayor and United Nations Ambassador, will highlight King's spirit of activism and social justice in the King Week keynote address on Jan. 18.

The College Council's annual "State of Race" discussion will be part of King Week this year. The Jan. 25 event will feature CNN anchor and journalist Soledad O'Brien.

"Each year we bring a speaker who can illuminate and discuss issues of race and diversity on Emory's campus, college campuses and the nation," says College Council president Shifali Baliga.

The 16th annual "Women Talking With Women" forum reflecting on race, ethnicity and culture with women of different backgrounds is set for Jan. 19, followed by a dialogue for men titled "Journey of Self: Catalyst to Discovering Our Purpose."
In "Words That Changed The World" Jan. 19, students, staff and faculty will gather to read from speeches and letters of prominent civil rights leaders from around the world, from King to Mahatma Gandhi to Cesar Chavez.

Popular events returning for King Week 2011 include a jazz vespers service, a choral concert recognizing Emory scholars, community service awards, a drum circle, library exhibit and worship services.

King Week will conclude with an ecumenical celebration in Old Church at Oxford College on Jan. 25. Gospel choirs from Emory as well as Newton County's Martin Luther King Jr. Interdenominational Choir will sing, and Rev. Bridgette Young, a former Emory staff member now with the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, will be the guest speaker.

For the full schedule of events, see the King Week calendar.

— From Staff Reports

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