Washington University celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day


The 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration at Washington University in St. Louis will include a number of free events, from lectures to performances.
Michel Martin, host of Tell Me More, National Public Radio’s one-hour daily news and talk show, was scheduled to give the School of Medicine’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Lecture but canceled over the weekend due to illness.

Jason Purnell, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School, will give the lecture in her place. He is one of the authors of “For the Sake of All: A Report on the Health and Well-Being of African Americans in St. Louis.”

The event, which is sponsored by the Office of Diversity Programs, will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, in the Eric P. Newman Education Center.

For more information, call (314) 362-6854 or email Michelle Patterson at mpatterson@wustl.edu.

Mandela’s legacy, Parks Award

On the Danforth Campus, faculty, students and staff will celebrate the legacy of Nelson Mandela at the 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, in Graham Chapel.

Ron Himes, founder of the St. Louis Black Repertory Company and the Henry E. Hampton Jr. Artist-in-Residence in WUSTL’s Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences, will provide a dramatic reading of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “Give Us the Ballot.” Student Eddie Mungai of the African Students Association will read an excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s “I Am Prepared to Die” speech. Student speaker Ola Abiose will read her award-winning essay, which addresses the program’s theme.

Community organizer and newspaper columnist Jamala Rogers will be presented with the Rosa L. Parks Award for Meritorious Service to the Community. This award honors persons or organizations exhibiting the character, conscience and courage of King and Parks. Those who are honored have given a lifetime of service to the community and their efforts have had impact far beyond immediate circumstances without seeking personal gain.

Rogers has been a local and national leader in the struggle for justice, equality and peace, promoting alliance-building across issues and social movements. Some of the issues she works on include gender equality, health, violence, reproductive rights, police violence, prison reform, wrongful convictions and the death penalty. Rogers contributes to websites and blogs and is a featured columnist for the St. Louis American.

Scheduled performers include the a cappella group the Stereotypes, student group Black Anthology, a student gospel choir and Orchestrating Diversity, an urban youth orchestra. A reception in the Danforth University Center will follow the program. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Rudolph Clay Jr., committee chair, at (314) 935-5059 or visit here.

WUSTL’s Gephardt Institute for Public Service also will co-host “Creating a Beloved Community – A Public Forum to Present the Findings of the Missouri Civic Health Index” at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Center for Global Citizenship, 3672 West Pine Blvd. St. Louis community members can attend the forum to learn how our voting, volunteerism and other civic engagement stacks up against the rest of the state and nation. To learn more or to register, visit stlvolunteer.org/MLK.