Call for 2015 MLK Celebration Focus Sessions

Note: Sessions have been selected for the 2015 celebration.

In a few short months, Valparaiso University will hold its 25th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration for the 2014-2015 academic year, taking place during a period of several days before and after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 19.

This year’s theme, "Hope, Action, CHANGE," is reflected in the work of our featured speakers, Ishmael Beah and Joanne Bland. This theme will be explored in a series of sessions that will emphasize the milestones of the Civil Rights Movement, highlight the present-day challenges to civil liberty, and draw attention to the good work that is still being done to make Dr. King’s vision a reality in today’s world.

Students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to propose 60-minute focus sessions to be facilitated by the applicant on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 19Focus Sessions will be held in the afternoon during two one-hour blocks (1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.), separated by a 15-minute intermission. The committee will look for sessions that connect with this year's theme. Examples might include sessions on activities that build hope, encourage positive social action, and lead to changes in services, programs, practices, and policies at the local, national, and international levels. Special consideration will be given to a single two-hour session presented by trained diversity facilitators.

We encourage creativity, imagination, and audience participation that relates to how this material is presented, including the use of technology and multi-media formats. We welcome sessions based on student projects and service learning (on and off campus), workplace practices, and community work.

To propose a Focus Sessionplease complete the application form and return it to John Harrison, Meier Hall, 1800 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46383 or by Friday, Oct. 24. Please remember when writing your proposal to consider carefully how your session will help us reflect upon this year's theme: "Hope, Action, CHANGE."

Please note that the form includes information on "Moderators" and "Sponsors." This does not require any financial commitment; Valpo is simply dedicated to creating partnerships and networking. Thus, a sponsor could be your campus department or college, a civic organization, student group, church, or business. These pre-determined affiliations assist with providing both publicity and audiences. The selected moderator(s) would be someone who introduces the primary speaker and helps guide the attendees through Q&A sessions, typically held at the conclusion of the presentation.


Focus Sessions Committee: Nirupama Devaraj, Zebadiah Hall, John Harrison (chair), Monique Nunes, Sarah Degner Riveros, Dan Saros