2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Dartmouth College

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Martin Luther King celebration poster

This year's theme is inspired by a 1967 speech that Dr. King delivered to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the theme is "Where Do We Go from Here?: Leading for Change."

Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, a UCLA and Columbia law professor and an expert on race and gender equality, will be the keynote speaker during Dartmouth’s two-week Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. The program will be held January 16 through 29 and features a variety of events, most of which are open to the public. Inspired by a 1967 speech that Dr. King delivered to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the theme is “Where Do We Go from Here?: Leading for Change.”

“This year’s theme is particularly timely,” says President Jim Yong Kim, who is the keynote speaker for Dartmouth Medical School’s celebration. “As we confront climate change, poverty, and inequities in access to opportunities, the work to find solutions can be daunting. There are no simple answers. Dr. King’s example reminds us that with commitment, passion, and continued development of our knowledge and skills, each of us can help build a better world.”

“This yearly time to reflect on the legacy of Dr. King allows us all a valuable opportunity to ask the hard questions, renew commitments, find fresh inspiration, and consider the personal contributions we all can make to creating a more just and vibrant future,” says Holly Sateia, vice president for Institutional Diversity and Equity and co-chair with Gabrielle Lucke of the 2010 celebration committee.

Crenshaw will deliver the celebration’s keynote address in the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts’ Spaulding Auditorium on Monday, January 18, at 7 p.m. A leading authority in the areas of civil rights, black feminist legal theory, and racism and the law, Crenshaw’s groundbreaking work was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution. She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Workshop and is co-editor of the volume Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement. Additionally, she is co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, a think tank that delivers research-based strategies to advance social inclusion. Crenshaw writes for Ms. MagazineThe Nation and other media, and is a regular commentator on PBS’s The Tavis Smiley Show. Free tickets are available to the general public at the Hopkins Center Box Office beginning January 14 at 10 a.m. There is a four-ticket per person limit.

President Kim will speak on “Quality Health Care for All: Why We Can’t Wait,” in the Dartmouth Medical School keynote address at Kellogg Auditorium on Wednesday, January 20, at 4 p.m. His lecture will focus on the relevancy of Dr. King’s teachings today and the “fierce urgency of now” for a social justice movement around quality health care access for all. A physician and anthropologist, President Kim is a former director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization (WHO) and a co-founder of Partners in Health. Before assuming the Dartmouth presidency in July 2009, President Kim held professorships at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He also served as chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and director of the François Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health

The celebration begins January 16 with two performances at the Hopkins Center by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American Appalachian string-band trio. The 8 p.m. performance in Spaulding Auditorium is $26 and $14 for children under 18 (Dartmouth students $10). Tickets are available at the Hopkins Center Box Office; call 603-646-2422 The Carolina Chocolate Drops will also perform in a special free HopStop program for children ages 3 to 9 in Alumni Hall at 11 a.m.

Walt L. Cunningham Jr., artistic director of the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir, will lead the choir in musical selections of faith and inspiration at the Community Faith Celebration at Rollins Chapel on Sunday, January 17, at 3 p.m. Sponsored by the Tucker Foundation, the service will also feature a joyous selection of music from Dartmouth’s student ensembles. The event is free and open to the public.

The 2010 Martin Luther King Social Justice Awards will be presented on Friday, January 29, at 4:30 p.m. at Collis Common Ground. The awards recognize members of the Dartmouth and Upper Valley community who have contributed significantly to social justice, peace, civil rights, education, public health, or environmental justice. This year’s recipients are Peter Kilmarx ’83, DMS ’90, chief of the epidemiology branch of the division of HIV/AIDS prevention for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Cathleen D. Caron ’92, founder and executive director of the Global Workers Justice Alliance; and Methembe Ndlovu ’97 (in absentia), the co-founder and Zimbabwe program director of Grassroots Soccer. The Dartmouth Medical School’s Chapter of Physicians for Human Rights will be honored with the Student Group Award.

A complete schedule of events is available at www.dartmouth.edu/~mlk. For information call 603-646-3749.