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Rose-Hulman Celebrating MLK Jr.’s Life Lessons with Special Activities

January 12, 2012

"The Dream Begins with You" is the theme of a special week of educational, artistic and social activities at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology celebrating the life of former civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.  Events begin on Monday, Jan. 16, and continue through Friday, Jan. 20.

Dr. King was a Nobel Peace Prize winning clergyman and activist known for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means.  He delivered the famous "I Have a Dream" speech during a 1963 March on Washington, D.C.

  Michael R. Jessamy

Students, faculty and staff members will list their own "dreams" on Post-It Notes being placed on two versions of a "Dream Wall" on campus throughout the week.  One wall will be located in the lobby of the Hulman Student Union; another will be in the Commons Area of Moench Hall.

"'The Dream Wall' should inspire the campus community to offer perspectives on how Martin Luther King Jr.'s words continue to inspire them in the areas of diversity and showcase how one person can effect change in our society," states Luanne Tilstra, director of Rose-Hulman's Center for Diversity. 

A segment of the award-winning "Eyes on the Prize" documentary series about the African-American civil rights movement will be the topic of a showing and group discussion on Monday, starting at 4:30 p.m., in Room O-269 of the Olin Advanced Learning Center.  

"We'll be showing one episode, Episode #4, 'No Easy Walk," says Literature Professor Caroline Carvill, "about the rise of Dr. King as a national leader from 1961-63." Carvill will facilitate a group discussion following the segment presentation. 

"Most of our students have seen the 'I Have A Dream' speech, but not many of them know a lot about [King's] earlier rise to prominence." This event is free and open to the general public.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Student Leadership Dinner, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, will honor students, faculty and staff members for their diversity awareness and outreach.   Keynote speaker, Michael R. Jessamy, director of employee relations for the Chrysler Group, will discuss how elements of King's messages are still relevant today.  Chrysler is sponsoring this campus event.

An art exhibit, featuring dazzling students' artworks, will be displayed in the lobby of the Hulman Union from Tuesday through Friday, Jan. 17-20, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Top contest entries will be recognized during the MLK Student Leadership Dinner.

Finally, nationally-recognized entertainer BT the Comedian will perform as part of Rose-Hulman's Month of a Million Laughs on Friday, Jan. 20, at 8 p.m. in the Kahn Room of the Hulman Union.  This event is not open to the public.

These special MLK Jr. Week events are co-sponsored by the President's Advisory Council on Diversity, the Diversity Collaborative and the Student Activities Board.