You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 9:35 a.m.

U-M, EMU plan MLK Day celebrations in honor of 50th anniversary of historic 'I Have a Dream' speech

By Kellie Woodhouse

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic "I Have a Dream" speech — and local universities are planning to honor that milestone during events surrounding the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


University of Michigan students gather on the Diag during a past Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

The holiday takes place on Monday, Jan. 21, and honors its namesake Martin Luther King Jr. This year, celebrations of America's iconic civil rights activist are intensified due to the 50th anniversary of his historic 17-minute speech in which the reverend called for an end to racism.

University of Michigan is hosting its 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium throughout the month. The symposium will be keynoted by Morris Dees, co-founder and chief trial counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who will speak at 10 a.m. Monday at Hill Auditorium.

King speechwriter Clarence B. Jones will also speak during the symposium, discussing the development of the "I Have a Dream" speech at 6 p.m. Monday in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business Blau Auditorium.

Civil rights activist and educator Angela Davis will give a lecture titled "Impediments to the Dream: The Prison Industrial Complex and the Dream" from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday in the Michigan Union Rogel Ballroom.

At 11:30 a.m. Monday there will be a rally on the U-M diag in support of a November appellate court ruling that struck down Michigan's Proposal 2, which banned the use of affirmative action in college admissions. The rally will begin at the corner of South University and South Forest avenues, and move to the Diag.

Leading up to the holiday, university students are encouraged to visit the Sweetland Center for Writing's website and submit essays about how King's speech has impacted their lives. The U-M South Asian Awareness Network also is hosting a multi-day social justice conference.

The events take place during a semester-long "Understanding Race" project, which includes lectures, art exhibits, performances and panel discussions.

The College of Literature, Science and Arts is offering courses crafted for the race-centric theme. As a part of the project, National Public Radio personality Michele Norris will bring her Race Card Project to Ann Arbor later in the semester, asking participants to submit a six word statement about race on post cards or the Web. In April she will visit U-M's campus.

Meanwhile, Eastern Michigan University is having Tim Wise, an anti-racism author and educator, keynote its MLK day events with a lecture scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at the student center auditorium.

There also will be academic programs and student performances from 2 until 6 p.m. in the student center. During a luncheon, EMU will announce the winners of a school-sponored humanitarian award and the Evans Strand Scholarship, both of which go to students who display value for civil rights.

EMU students are planning a campus-wide march beginning at 6 p.m. outside the student center. The following day, Tuesday, Jan. 22, EMU is offering a panel discussion and free screening of “Detropia” at 6:30 p.m. in the student center auditorium.

Prior to MLK day, EMU is inviting students to participate in a service day and lock-in.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


ms 2013

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

i will be a t some of them and its a beautiful thing happy b day dr, king

Dog Guy

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

If I am a bit late for any of these events, please feel free to start without me.

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 6:05 p.m.

Readers, here's another U-M event in honor of MLK Day:


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 5:45 p.m.

Nope, have to work

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

Is anyone planning to attend some of these events?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 4:23 p.m.

Civil rights activist and educator Angela Davis ? She was with the "Black Panthers" an outlaw street gang in California that practice violence with Guns? What's the message: Guns Kill?


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

This is also 50th year (captured in photos) of King's only visit to the UM

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

Thanks, David, for this link!


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

"I have a dream that we will once again use race at this University to judge applicants." -MLK 2013, as envisioned by his modern-day supporters.