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Week of Events Begins Thursday, Jan. 16

For more than 20 years, Valparaiso University has celebrated the life and teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., and this tradition continues with a weeklong celebration Jan. 16-23.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Valpo will honor “The Beloved Community” through speakers, presenters, and activities that promote the respect and value of racial diversity on campus, as well as within the broader community, through dialogue and discourse, art and music, and food and faith.

Events include:

  • Student artistic works representing more than 50 Northwest Indiana schools on display in the Harre Union. A reception and award ceremony, featuring a performance by local folk band Shades of Gray, is Thursday, Jan. 16, 5-7 p.m., in the Harre Union.
  • Community conversations focusing on King’s “Letters from Birmingham Jail” throughout Porter County on Friday, Jan. 17. Locations include Dayspring Women’s Center, the Lutheran Deaconess Association Center for Diaconoal Ministry, Immanuel Lutheran Church, and The Pines Retirement Village. Visit valpo.edu/mlk/conversations for a complete list of venues and to register.
  • Screening of the documentary “Half the Sky” based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning co-authors Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas D. Kristof. The first half of the film will be shown Friday, Jan. 17, 5-7 p.m., with a student coffee house exhibition of dancers, musicians, and vocalists immediately following. The second half will air Saturday, Jan. 18, 2-4 p.m., in the Harre Union ballrooms, followed by a Q & A session with WuDunn via satellite.
  • A Martin Luther King Jr. Day Convocation Service at the Chapel of the Resurrection on Monday, Jan. 20, at 10 a.m. Readers and musicians from the Porter County community will participate in the service, which will be capped by a keynote speech by the Rev. John Nunes, Jochum Chair and Professor at Valpo and former CEO of Lutheran World Relief. The service will also feature the presentation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Award to Stacy Hoult-Saros, for her work to further King’s vision of multicultural accord and celebration.
  • A luncheon featuring Nigerian dance troupe Umuada Ure following the Convocation Service, in the Harre Union ballrooms. Luncheon tickets cost $12.50 and are available at the Harre Union Welcome Desk.
  • More than 30 focus sessions highlighting “The Beloved Community” throughout campus on Monday, Jan. 20, during two time periods, 1:15-2:15 and 2:30-3:30 p.m. Visit valpo.edu/mlk/sessions for a complete list of focus sessions.
  • A closing program featuring a presentation by Chicago-based theater company Silk Road Rising on Monday, Jan. 20, 4-5 p.m., in the Valparaiso University Center for the Arts.

The Law School will also host several events at Wesemann Hall. On Monday, Jan. 20, the annual “Talk to a Lawyer” event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a commemorative talk with Valparaiso University Law School alumna Amelia Chizwala Peterson ’11 is from 2:30 to 5 p.m. The MLK Mock Debate will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m., focusing on the “Stand Your Ground” law. On Thursday, Jan. 23, the Law School MLK Day Speaker will be William E. Nelson, the Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law at New York University School of Law.