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CSB and SJU Events Celebrate Life of Martin Luther King

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January 15, 2010

A number of events and performances highlight the celebration and life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the week of Jan. 15-21 at College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.  The celebration's theme is "Who Are You? Celebrating the Differences in Our Community." 

"As Dr. King so eloquently stated, 'We must work unceasingly to uplift this nation that we love to a higher destiny, to a higher plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness,' " said BernaDette Wilson Suwareh, CSB/SJU director of the Intercultural Center and the Intercultural Leadership, Education and Development Fellowship Program. "By knowing and appreciating who we are, we will be better able to communicate, appreciate and celebrate the differences in our community. 

"During this week, we will be reflecting, celebrating and honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King. We are hopeful that our next generation will recognize the depth and breadth of Dr. King's work and value his non-violent movement for social justice, equality and peace. We encourage and empower students to take action against injustices and be agents for change in our global society," BernaDette said. 

Here is a rundown of the events, listed by day. The events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted: 

Friday, Jan. 15 - Actor John O'Neal, founder of the Free Southern Theater and founder and artistic director of Junebug Productions in New Orleans, presents a one-man play, "Don't Start Me Talking or I'll Tell You Everything I Know," at 8 p.m., Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU. O'Neal's character, Junebug Jabbo Jones, covers over 100 years of African-American oral history, from the cotton fields of the south through the early days of the Civil Rights movement. Tickets for this event are $28 for adults, $24 for seniors, $18 for CSB and SJU faculty and staff and $10 for youths and students. The event is sponsored by CSB/SJU Fine Arts Programming. 

Saturday, Jan. 16 and Sunday, Jan. 17 - CSB senior Amanda Forstrom and SJU senior Mason Mahoney will perform "Dutchman" at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Studio Theater, Benedicta Arts Center of the College of Saint Benedict. The play, by Amiri Baraka, takes place in a subway train in the 1960s. It's a confrontation between Clay, a young African-American man, and Lulu, a white woman, that begins playfully but builds rapidly in suspense. When "race" enters the conversation, words become weapons. 

Monday, Jan. 18 - A chance to reflect on the words of King using lectio divina will take place throughout the day at the Fireside Lounge, SJU. Excerpts from some of King's legendary speeches will be highlighted, and participants will be able to reflect with lectio divina, a Christian prayer form using meditation and reflection that has been practiced for centuries by Benedictine monks and other Christians. This event is sponsored by the International Student Program Office and the Intercultural Center. 

A prayer service will be held at 12:35 p.m. at Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict's Monastery, St. Joseph. The prayer service is sponsored by CSB and SJU Campus Ministry. 

Tuesday, Jan. 19 - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Science Theater is at 7 p.m. in 204C Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, CSB. Participants will be asked to recognize subtle and not-so-obvious forms of racism from various media and pop culture through the use of video clips. This event is sponsored by CSB Residential Life, SJU Campus Life, Student Activities and Leadership Development and the International Student Program Office. 

Wednesday, Jan. 20 - A faculty panel on "Diversity, Inclusion and the Continuing Quest for Justice and Peace" will be at 7 p.m. in 204A Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, CSB. The panel includes Neal Allen, CSB/SJU assistant professor of political science, and Gary Prevost, CSB/SJU professor of political science. 

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Science Theater, 8:30 p.m. in 204C Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, CSB (see description, above). 

Thursday, Jan. 21 - The capstone event to the celebration, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Performance and Finale Celebration, is at 7:30 p.m. at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, SJU. This celebration, held every year and sponsored by the Intercultural Center, gives CSB and SJU students the opportunity to showcase their talents through poems, music, dance and spoken word. The Intercultural Center asks the student body to showcase their talent in honor of remembering King's dream of civil equality. 

A Soul Food Dinner will follow the performance at approximately 9:15 p.m. at the Alumni Lounge, SJU. The meal is sponsored by the Intercultural Center and the SJU Dining Service.