Honoring MLK on New England Campuses

As part of its celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Eastern Connecticut State University will present a 12-part series looking back on the life of the man considered the greatest civil rights leader of the past century. Had he lived, King would have turned 84 this year.

The series, which contains a greeting by Eastern President Elsa M. Núñez, was researched, written and produced by Dwight Bachman, public relations officer at Eastern. The series will air all day on Eastern’s cable channel on Monday, Jan. 21, the national celebration of King’s birthday. Click here to watch the series via streaming video.

Eastern bills itself as Connecticut’s public liberal arts university and serves about 5,400 students each year on its Willimantic campus and satellite locations.

The series, which Eastern Professor of Theatre Ellen Brodie has described as “an ongoing beacon lighting the memory of Dr. King and a loving gift to future generations,” begins with a look at the forces that pushed the Baptist preacher to the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. From there, it moves on to the role King played in desegregating the transit system of Montgomery, Ala. The series cites Christian clergy who said King was a Communist troublemaker who belonged in jail and reveals how he reacted to the many threats on his life; his extraordinary ability to articulate an idea; and his response to liberals who said he was moving too fast. The night King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., he was fighting for fair pay and economic justice for the city’s sanitation workers who, he noted, “cannot eat three square meals a day.”

“While honoring Dr. King’s commitment to the principles of nonviolent civil disobedience, for which the civil rights leader won the Nobel Prize for Peace, Bachman has done a masterful job of focusing on King’s goals of ending segregation, injustice, racism and discrimination,” said Edward Osborn, Eastern’s director of university relations.

The series originally aired in 1983 on the Stamford, Conn.-based Satellite News Channel (SNC), where Bachman was a news producer at the time. Jose Grinan, SNC anchorman, narrates the series. Nick Messina, director of media services at Eastern, and Craig Naumec, former multimedia production technician at Eastern, recreated the series for the Eastern television broadcast.


Elsewhere in New England …

In Maine, Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will speak on “Visions of Freedom: Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement” on Monday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. in Colby College’s Cotter Union  Related events include a lecture, Social Class Goes to College, on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. in Page Commons and an interfaith celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 5 p.m.in Lorimer Chapel.


International peace educator Arthur Romano will offer examples of how King’s message of courageous leadership is inspiring a new generation of peace-builders around the world today during a workshop on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Campus Center of the University of New England (UNE) Biddeford campus. On Monday, Jan. 21, UNE students will take part in various reflections and service projects. On Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 5:30 in the Biddeford campus’s Bush Center, Christopher Emdin, assistant professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, will share his personal journey in dedicating his scholarship towards urban education and youth empowerment.


Bates College will dedicate its King Day observances to “Debt and Inequality: The Relevance of King’s Forgotten Economic Message,” on Sunday, Jan. 20, and Monday, Jan. 21, at various locations on the Bates campus. Theologian Anthea Butler of the University of Pennsylvania will deliver a keynote address on King, followed by a debate between Bates and Morehouse College students.


Brandeis University will hold its 8th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial “The Duty of A Dream!” on Monday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the Shapiro Campus Center Theater. The keynote speaker will be Herman Hemingway ‘53, is the first black man to graduate from Brandeis.


The University of Hartford will host the 7th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King observance featuring a talk by Teresa Younger, executive director of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, at the Lincoln Theater on Monday, Jan. 21, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Saint Michael’s College expanded its 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation into a weeklong series, called “A Call to Conscience:  Martin Luther King and the Ongoing Struggle for Civil Rights.” On Jan. 21, University of Pennsylvania historian Mary Frances Berry will speak on “A Hopeful Time: The American Conscience and the 2012 Elections” at 4:30 p.m. in the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel. Among other King-related events, Saint Michael’s will host a panel discussion on “A Call for Action: The Significance of the ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’” on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in the McCarthy Arts Center.


Though the above events are free, for a fee, the Northeastern University School of Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project will host Remembering Harms, Restoring Justice with Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winner Toni Morrison on Friday, Jan. 18, from 4 p.m. to 6:3o p.m., in Blackman Auditorium. The fee will be $12 for NU students and staff and $17 for the public.




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