Celebrate King's legacy

Martin Luther King Day is not just another day off from work. It’s a time to serve your community and your fellow Americans.

The University of Pennsylvania is making it easy to serve by sponsoring a variety of service projects on the holiday, observed this year on Jan. 20. Projects include sprucing up buildings and grounds at two West Philadelphia public schools, sorting donated books for a literacy education program, making gifts for people in shelters and nursing homes and collecting food from local restaurants in Kensington to distribute to neighbors in need.

The holiday begins with the traditional community breakfast and end with the annual candlelight march and vigil for peace. Details on the projects are available at www.upenn.edu/aarc/mlk on the Web.

The events of Jan. 20 begin the most intense portion of Penn’s 17-day symposium dedicated to King’s life and legacy. The annual interfaith program, discussions, lectures, films, music and entertainment round out the celebration. Selected events open to the public or the campus community appear below. Visit the Web site for a complete schedule and more information.

Thursday, Jan. 16

WE ARE FAMILY: Join Spruce College House Dean Marilynne Diggs-Thompson for a discussion of “Scholars, Activists and Images of ‘The Black Family’—A Retrospective.” Noon to 2 p.m. at the Penn Women’s Center, 3643 Locust Walk.

KING THE RADICAL I: An informal discussion explores “the other side” of Martin Luther King—the radical advocate for economic justice and peace. 5:30 p.m. at the Christian Association, 37th and Sansom streets. See also Friday, Jan. 24 and Monday, Jan. 27.

Friday, Jan. 17

RACE AND SERVICE: A panel discussion looks at some of the unexplored questions surrounding community work, including whether it can be used to overcome racial and economic barriers. 5 p.m. at The ARCH, 3601 Locust Walk.

Saturday, Jan. 18

GET ON THE BUS: A contingent of Penn faculty, staff and students will travel to Washington to participate in the Peace March against war in Iraq. Buses depart at 7 a.m. from 34th and Walnut streets and return at 8 p.m. Tickets $20; some student subsidies available.

Sunday, Jan. 19

“GANDHI”: Richard Attenborough’s Oscar-winning 1982 film portrays the life of the man whose non-violent struggle for Indian independence served as the model for King’s own crusade. 7 p.m. at the Graduate Student Center, 3615 Locust Walk.

Monday, Jan. 20

COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: Minister Lorina Marshall-Blake of Vine Memorial Baptist Church will address King’s ideals of “Justice, Peace and Service” as the keynote speaker of this annual event hosted by President Judith Rodin. 9 a.m. in the Hall of Flags, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce St.

MLK TEACH-IN: Speakers address issues of economic human rights in a School of Social Work event. 12:30 to 5 p.m. in the Hall of Flags, Houston Hall; reception follows.

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL: The annual march from DuBois College House to Houston Hall bears witness to King’s vision for peace. 7 to 10 p.m.; march departs from DuBois College House, 3900 Walnut St.

THE DEMONS WE MAKE: Filmmaker Tania Cuevas-Martinez will be on hand to lead a discussion following the premiere of her documentary “Haters,” an exploration of ethnic demonization in America. 7 p.m. in the Ben Franklin Room, Houston Hall.

CAST OUT FOR LOVE: Sister Jeannine Gramick (Gr’75) speaks on her ministry to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and the Vatican ban on her ministry issued in 1999. 7 p.m. at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center, 3907 Spruce St.

Wednesday, Jan. 22

STEP OUT OF LINE: Executive Vice President Clifford Stanley speaks on “When Leaders Need to Break Rank.” 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Graduate Student Center. Reservations required: www.upenn.edu/gsc.

Thursday, Jan. 23

INTERFAITH PROGRAM: Keynote speaker: Dorothy Cotton, the first female member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Featuring musical performances and remarks from President Rodin. 7 p.m. in Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall.

Friday, Jan. 24

KING THE RADICAL II: A conversation explores the radical nature of King’s vision of racial justice. Noon at the Christian Association.

Saturday, Jan. 25

A SOUTH ASIAN DREAM: The fourth annual South Asian Political Awareness Conference encourages South Asian Americans to follow in the King’s footsteps. 1 to 9 p.m. in Class of 1949 Auditorium, Houston Hall.

Monday, Jan. 27

KING THE RADICAL III: Bayard Rustin was not alone. This conversation looks at King’s acceptance of his homosexual colleagues in the civil rights movement. Noon at the LGBT Center.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

JULIAN BOND: The NAACP chairman and co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee delivers the second annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture in Social Justice. Noon; location to be announced.

THE BLACK SCHOLAR: Research Assistant Professor of Social Work Sean Joe, education doctoral student Patricia Louison and Sean Seymore of Rowan University discuss challenges facing black scholars in academe. 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Graduate Student Center.

JUST READING: A student reading at Kelly Writers House features works on peace and justice inspired by King. 8 to 10 p.m. at the Writers House.

Originally published on January 16, 2003