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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 6, 2010

UI presents MLK Celebration of Human Rights Jan. 15-29

The University of Iowa has planned two weeks of activities for the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Human Rights from Friday, Jan. 15 to Friday, Jan. 29, starting with opening celebration at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU).

The opening celebration features keynote speaker State Rep. Wayne Ford with Interim Vice President for Student Services Tom Rocklin giving a welcome. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. Entertainment will include performances by the UI gospel choir The Voices of Soul, Charism, and Idris Goodwin, spoken word artist.

Preceding the opening celebration is the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The UI will join with others across the country who keep the dream alive through community service activities on the MLK Holiday. The UI Civic Engagement Program has arranged a number of service sites at local nonprofits where volunteers can help out. For more information, see

The MLK Human Rights Celebration is sponsored by the UI Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Human Rights Planning Committee. During the celebration, faculty, staff, students and community members will give lectures, discussions and cultural arts presentations presented by a wide range of campus and community organizations.

"We hope these programs will encourage dialogue about diversity and reinforce the principle that the University of Iowa provides a forum for the free exchange of ideas," said Katherine Betts, assistant director of diversity programs in the UI Office of Student Life and planning committee chair. "The convocation has been an opportunity for serious thinking about issues of social justice, human rights, and world peace."

All events are free and open to the public. Selected activities scheduled at the UI campus are listed below. For a complete listing of all Human Rights Week events, visit

Friday, Jan. 15:

-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Blood Drive, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., John Pappajohn Pavilion Lobby, UI Hospitals and Clinics. This event is sponsored by UI Health Care.

Tuesday, Jan. 19:

--Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County will give the University of Iowa Health Care Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Lecture, titled "Educating Leaders in Health Care for the 21st Century" from noon to 1 pm in the Prem Sahai Auditorium, 1110A in the Medical Education Research Facility (MERF), 375 Newton Road.

--Diversity Student Organization Fair, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Second Floor Ballroom, IMU.

Wednesday, Jan. 20:

--Performance by Charism, "Songs of Hope, Healing, and Community," 12:15-12:45 p.m., third floor Gilmore Hall.

--"Making a New Home: Refugees and Immigrants Speak Out," 7 p.m. meeting room A, Iowa City Public Library.

Thursday, Jan. 21:

--Community of Color, community-building event for new and returning students, 3-6 p.m. Van Oel Multipurpose Room Currier Hall.

--Council on Disability Awareness presents the Voices of Disability writing contest award ceremony, 4-5 p.m., W401 Pappajohn Business Building.

--"Fierce Conversations" a presentation about creating facilitated dialogue focusing on privilege, oppression, and cultural competency; 6:30-8:30 p.m., Ohio State Room, Iowa Memorial Union.

--Starfleet Academy Young Officers' Club presents "Set Phasers to Equality: Star Trek and Human Rights" 7 p.m., Afro-American Cultural Center, 303 Melrose Ave., Iowa City.

--James Lawson speaks at "A Celebration of the Civil Rights Movement: Where we have Been, Where we are, Where We Are Going," reception and meet and greet begins at 4:15 p.m. followed by the lecture at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center.

Friday, Jan. 22:

--UI PanAmerican Steel Band Performance, noon to 1 p.m. John Colloton Pavilion Atrium, UI Hospitals and Clinics.

--"Sciences and Engineering Celebrate Dr. King" lecture and reception, 4-5:30 p.m., 2229 Seamans Center. Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; College of Engineering; Office of the Special Assistant for Equal Opportunity & Diversity and Associate Provost for Diversity; College of Public Health; College of Pharmacy; Department of Mathematics; Department of Geoscience; Department of Urban and Regional Planning; predoctoral training program in biotechnology.

Sunday, Jan. 24:

--"I Don't Feel No Ways Tired," forum 4-6 p.m. Afro-American Cultural Center.

Monday, Jan. 25:

--"Katrina's Children" film and discussion, 7 p.m. Iowa City Public Library; sponsored by College of Public Health and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Landlocked Film Festival.

Tuesday, Jan. 26:

--Human Rights Fair, noon-2 p.m. Blank Honors Center, first-floor lobby. The UI Center for Human Rights is sponsoring this event, where people can learn how to get involved with human rights-related student groups on campus. Several student groups will host tables with information about their organizations and practical ways to get involved with human rights issues on campus and in Iowa City.

--"Effects of U.S. Policies on Native American Women," a lecture by Michelene Pesantubbee, associate professor, UI Department of Religious Studies and American Indian Native Studies Program, 7 p.m. Iowa City Public Library Meeting Room A.

Wednesday, Jan. 27:

--"Songs of Hope, Healing, and Community," Voices of Soul performance, 12:15-12:45 p.m. third floor Gilmore Hall atrium.

Thursday, Jan. 28:

-- "Diversity: Are we living Dr. King's vision at the UI," A discussion hosted by the African American Council, 4-6 p.m. 2520D University Capitol Center.

--"Raise Your Voice," an evening of poetry and spoken word for human rights, 7-9 p.m. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center, 125 Grand Avenue Court, Iowa City.

--[J]amnesty, sponsored by UI Amnesty International, 7-11 p.m. Old Brick Church. This concert will feature performances by renowned slam poet Big Poppa E and bands The New Bodies, Audrey Robinson, Andrew Johnathan, and Teddy Boys. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Justice for Our Neighbors, a local human rights organization offering free, professional legal services to low-income immigrants.

Friday, Jan. 29

--Martin Luther King Jr. Research Symposium, noon-2:30 p.m. N300 Lindquist Center, Jones Commons.

For more information on MLK Week, contact Katherine Betts at 319-335-3059.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Katherine Betts, Office of Student Life, 319-335-3059; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,