Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration 2011 (Metropolitan Philadelphia) : January 17-22, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Commemoration 2011

Schedule of Events

Events take place from Jan. 17 through Jan. 22, and include a candlelight vigil, keynote address, film, panel discussion, and performances. The event is sponsored by the Dean of Students Office and several departments and student organizations on the Ursinus campus.

The commemoration was created, in part, to reflect, discuss and plan ways to advance King’s vision. All events are free and open to the public without tickets or reservations.


Monday, Jan 17

Ecumenical ServiceNoon, Bomberger Hall

Meditation Chapel located on the Lower Level.


Candlelight Vigil  6pm.

It will begin at Unity House, closing with a procession to the College’s Olin Plaza


Keynote Address: Can You Hear the Sound of the Drum, Rev. Dr. Nikitah Okembe-RA Imani 7:30pm  Bomberger Hall

Dr. Martin Luther King in his own eulogy wrote that he was a “drum major for justice. What is the spiritual, cultural, and social significance of this moniker and how does it relate to how he wanted to be remembered?

Dr. Nikitah Okembe-RA Imani is an associate professor of sociology at James Madison University.  He is a veteran of more than 18 years of activism in Black nationalist and Pan-Africanist movements.  He has published a number of groundbreaking books including The Agony of Education: Black Students at a White University (Routledge 1996)


Tuesday, Jan 18th

Diversity Monologues

Lenfest Theater, The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center  5pm


Come celebrate the creativity of Ursinus students as they perform monologues about their experiences of diversity and identity at Ursinus College.


The Diversity Monologues is a compilation of uncensored, open, and free monologues that are meant to share with the community how it feels to be different and to be themselves. The monologues are meant to foster a community ethos at Ursinus College that nurtures and appreciates diverse identities.


Wednesday, Jan 19

Panel Discussion: “Race and the Sciences”  

Musser Auditorium, Pfahler Hall, 12 noon – 1pm


with Dr. Mark Ellison, Chemistry; Dr. Rebecca Kohn, Biology; and Dr. Lew Riley, Physics



Film:  Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority (dir. Kimberlee Bassford, 2008)

Musser Auditorium, Pfahler Hall, 7pm


The film explores the life and career of Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of colorelected to Congress and co-author of Title IX, the landmark legislation that mandated gender equity in education and athletics. Petite in frame but a giant in vision and her quest for social justice, Mink tirelessly championed the rights of minorities, women, workers, the poor and disenfranchised throughout her more than 40 years of public service. As a Japanese-American woman, she parlayed experiences of racism and sexism into an unwavering commitment to civil rights, equal opportunity, education and peace. Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority reveals how this passionate woman broke through barriers, opened opportunities to women and minorities and engaged the political process to permanently alter the American social and cultural landscape.


Thursday, Jan 20

Freedom School

Olin Hall, 7pm-8pm


Classical Liberalism as the Foundation for Civil Rights

Join with Ursinus Faculty as they explore questions about the nature of freedom in Western societies over the last five centuries!” Dr. Susanna Throop, room 305; Dr. Paul Stern, room 108; Dr. Greg Weight, room 303, Prof. Rabia Harris, room 317


Friday, Jan 21

Lunch and Learn: Not for Profit

Bomberger Conference Room, Noon

Christian Rice leads a discussion of Martha C. Nussbaum’s Not for Profit:  Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Princeton University Press 2010).  Nussbaum’s work is a passionate defense of the value of a Humanistic education at a time when we increasingly treat education as though its primary goal were to teach students to be economically productive rather than to think critically and become knowledgeable and empathetic citizens.  Our nation is becoming more culturally diverse yet colleges and universities are cutting back on precisely the kind of programs that give students the capacity to be true democratic citizens of their countries and the world.



Saturday, Jan 22

The Substance of Our Soul, performance

Lenfest Theater, The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center, 7pm

Ursinus students and alumni perform song, dance, music and oratory inspired by the work and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.




Events sponsored by S.U.N., the Office of Multicultural Services, College Activities Board, Leadership Development & Student Activities, UCARE Dean of Students Office, Film Studies, and the UC Ambassador Program.

The Path to Freedom: a review

The Path To Freedom
The History Press, 2010
126 Pages, Paperback, $19.99
ISBN 978-1-59629-992-4


RAW Rating: 5

THE PATH TO FREEDOM: Black Families in New Jersey is the story of four generations of suburban American families with wonderful photographs from the private collection of Nicy Marion Ham Russell, taken between 1935 and 1995. I really enjoyed this view of The Great Migration of black families to northeastern states such as New Jersey because we almost always hear about the migration to states like Illinois and Michigan.  Clearly folks migrated to other regions of the United States. Learning this makes this book and books like it very important as it documents history we would not learn about otherwise.

In chapter one “Early Migrants,” we meet the Ham and Russell families who merge to create the foundation for future generations. Chapter two “Family Life” presents what it was like to purchase a home or gather for a cookout and the risk folks took to do things we take for granted now. Chapter three “Church Occasions” speaks to the function of the church as core to the principles of the people who lived in the community because they created a foundation of morals, work and education. These are values I suggest we go back to as this book points out the successes of attendees. Chapter four “Free at Last” touches on Jim Crow and the dismantling of overt racism.  Chapter five “First Professionals” makes the point that black Americans, while making strides in employment, also spent a lot on consumer goods. Even today, it is suggested the current generation is misguided because as they indulge in the best of everything they have forgotten the sacrifices of people who laid the groundwork for them to have better lives.

The Path to Freedom: Black Families in New Jersey by Walter D Greason is a thought- provoking read of achievement and the realization of racial integration, that I highly recommend.


Reviewed by Linda Chavis

For The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers

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