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Hope College to observe Civil Rights Celebration Week

Anonymous • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:19 AM

The week honors all persons and groups who have worked toward the advancement of civil rights and social justice, and has been organized in conjunction with the national commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 16. Events will include screenings of the film “Better Life,” the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Luncheon, a special chapel service and the Civil Rights Commemorative March.

Admission to all of the events is free, although advance registration has concluded for the luncheon.

The week will open with the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Maas Center auditorium. Dr. Antwi Akom — a leading expert on the “green” economy, climate change and educational equity — will present the keynote address, “What the Civil Rights Movement Can Teach the Climate Justice Movement: Re-Imagining Dr. Kings Message for Today’s Eco-Visionaries.” Akom is an associate professor of environmental sociology in the department of African American studies at San Francisco State University, and during 2011 has been a visiting professor at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the environmental energy and technologies division. Akom’s research focuses on the links between race, environmental health and educational equity in cities and schools as a means to generate policy and planning solutions that improve community health, economic mobility, and the teachings and practices of community leaders and decision-makers. Advance registration for the luncheon took place in December.

The college’s Chapel service on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 10:30 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel will feature readings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speeches. The event is sponsored by the college’s multicultural student organizations and Campus Ministries.

The Civil Rights Commemorative March will take place from 11-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18. The march, which will begin at the anchor by Graves Hall and end at the first-floor rotunda of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication, provides an opportunity to commemorate the sacrifices and contributions that people of all backgrounds have made for freedom and equality. The march is co-sponsored by the college’s Office of Multicultural Education and multicultural student organizations.

The Social Activities Committee will present “Better Life” on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20 and 21, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall. The film tells a touching story about a father’s love and the lengths a parent will go to give his child the opportunities he never had. Carlos Galindo, a gardener in eastside Los Angeles, always dreamed of a better life for his wife and newborn son when he crossed the border into the United States. But when his wife left him, Carlos’ only goal became to make sure his son, Luis, would have a better life than he had. Together, Carlos and Luis embark on a physical and spiritual journey during which they discover that family is the most important part of the American dream.

The anchor in front of Graves Hall faces College Avenue between 10th and 12th streets. The Maas Center is at 264 Columbia Ave. The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication at 257 Columbia Ave. VanderWerf Hall is at 27 Graves Place.

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