Multicultural Affairs

Willamette University

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration: 2015

Featured Event:

Roger Shimomura“An American Diary – A Look at Life Interrupted” featuring Roger Shimomura

  • Friday, January 23, 2015
  • 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7pm
  • Hudson Concert Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center

Ticket Information: Free tickets are currently available on-line or for pickup (9am-4pm) at the University Center 2nd floor (beginning Jan 19)

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Calendar of Events:

January 19-26, 2015
MLK Food Drive: Feed the Dream
Multiple Locations

Spotlight on Youth and Hunger in Salem
Donation barrels in various campus locations and at designated events during the MLK celebration. One of every five area households ate from an emergency food box at least once during the year. And, among those eating from food boxes were an average of more than 16,000 children a month.

Items most needed are:

  • Cereal
  • Canned fruit
  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Tomato and pasta sauces
  • Peanut butter
  • Tuna (and other canned meats)
  • Shelf-stable dairy
  • Canned vegetables
  • Flour
Monday, January 19, 2015
Willamette University Honors Dr. King
Multiple Locations

Kickoff the week and Celebrate with birthday cake. Pickup information about the week’s events and tickets for Friday evening’s celebration.

  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. – University Center
  • 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – College of Law
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. / 5-7 p.m. – Goudy Dining Commons
6 p.m.Barbara Roberts: “Finding a Place - The Trials and Triumphs of the Displaced"
Paulus Lecture Hall, Room 201 (College of Law)

Barbara Roberts, Oregon's only female governor, will speak about topics of isolation, challenges, and opportunities facing some of Oregon's communities. Like her most recent book, "Up the Capitol Steps - A Women's March to the Governorship," Roberts will provide her views on civil and human rights issues. A nationally recognized leader on LBGT, women's, and diversity issues, she will explore how our history and present day realities guide and tie us to modern day civil rights movements.

Barbara Roberts was Oregon's only woman Governor (1991-1995) and Oregon Secretary of State from 1985 to 1991. Roberts was the Director of the State and Local Executive Programs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and has held a Senior Fellowship at the Harvard Women and Public Policy Program. Prior to her retirement in 2005, she served for five years as Associate Director of Leadership at Portland State University's Hatfield School of Government. In commenting about the Governor's autobiography, Ellen Malcolm, Founder of Emily's List states, "Roberts shows what it takes to make history—the guts to challenge the past and the passion to make a difference. Her book clearly shows why Barbara Roberts is a winner."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
6:30 p.m.Mountains that take Wing: Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama
Ford Hall, Room 122

A documentary featuring conversations between Yuri Kochiyama and Angela Davis over a span of 13 years on topics ranging from the Prison Industrial Complex, Civil Rights, and offering lessons on empowerment.

Thursday, January 22, 2015
5 p.m.Willamette Academy Presents “Keeping The Dream Alive”
IKE Box Cafe, 299 Cottage Street NE, Salem, OR

Program featuring Willamette Academy students as they explore Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact on our lives today and as they interpret this year’s theme through mixed media, theater and music. Program is completely student created and student run!

Friday, January 23, 2015 (WU Observance of the MLK National Holiday)
12:45 p.m. - 5 p.m. Into the Streets: Community Service Day
Multiple Locations

Registration required and includes a free t-shirt. Bring your own lunch, we will depart at 1:15 p.m. and return by 5 p.m. Email Summer Elias for information. Co-sponsored by WU’s Office of Community Service Learning and the Community Outreach Program. Service sites include:

  • Union Gospel Mission
  • Marion Polk Food Share
  • Bush Park
  • Salem Keizer Education Foundation
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • and more 
7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)“An American Diary” featuring Roger Shimomura
Hudson Concert Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center

Roger Shimomura An American DiaryJoin nationally-recognized artist Roger Shimomura as he surveys his career over a forty year period. Shimomura will discuss how his paintings, prints, and experimental theater pieces have been propelled by his experience in the Japanese American Internment Camps; racism faced post WWII as well as his own physical environment that has been constantly filled with his collections ranging from Walt Disney memorabilia to WWII stereotypes of Asian people.

Shimomura's work is on display at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art from January 17 through March 2, 2015, as part of the “Roger Shimomura: An American Knockoff” exhibit, and can be viewed online at

Roger Shimomura’s paintings, prints, and theatre pieces address sociopolitical issues of ethnicity. He was born in Seattle, Washington and spent two early years of his childhood in Minidoka (Idaho), one of 10 concentration camps for Japanese Americans during WWII. Shimomura received a B.A. degree from the University of Washington, Seattle,and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University, New York. He has had over 130 solo exhibitions of paintings and prints, as well as presented his experimental theater pieces at such venues as the Franklin Furnace, New York City, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

He is the recipient of more than 30 grants, of which four are National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Painting and Performance Art. Shimomura has been a visiting artist and lectured on his work at more than 200 universities, art schools, and museums across the country. In 1999, the Seattle Urban League designated a scholarship in his name that has been awarded annually to a Seattle resident pursuing a career in art. In 2002 he received the College Art Association Distinguished Body of Work Award. The following year, he delivered the keynote address at the 91st annual meeting of CAA in New York City. In 2003 he was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting Award. In 2006, he was accorded the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Arts & Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, and five years later was one of 50 alumni to be presented with the “150th Anniversary Timeless Award.” A past winner of the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award, in 2008, he was designated the first Kansas Master Artist and the same year was honored by the Asian American Arts Alliance, N.Y.C. as "Exceptional People in Fashion, Food & the Arts." In 2011 Shimomura was designated a United States Artist Fellow in Visual Arts and the next year delivered the commencement address to Garfield High School, Seattle, his alma mater.

Shimomura began teaching at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS in 1969. In the fall of 1990, Shimomura held an appointment as the Dayton Hudson Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. During his teaching career at the University of Kansas he was the first faculty member ever to be designated a University Distinguished Professor (1994), receive the Higuchi Research Prize (1998) and the Chancellor’s Club Career Teaching Award (2002). In 2004 he retired from teaching and started the Shimomura Faculty Research Support Fund, an endowment to foster faculty research in the Department of Art.

Shimomura is in the permanent collections of over 90 museums nation wide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of American Art and the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. His personal papers and letters are being collected by the Archives of AmericanArt, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. He is represented by Flomenhaft Gallery, New York City and Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle.

Lawson Inada
This event also features Lawson Inada, a third-generation Japanese American, who was sent with his family to internment camps in 1942. Both jazz and the experience of internment are influences in Inada’s writing. Inada was appointed Oregon poet laureate in 2006. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Creative Arts Grant from the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. One of his poems is inscribed on a stone at the Japanese American Historical Plaza in Portland, Oregon.

Free tickets will be available at the Putnam University Center 2nd floor (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) beginning Jan. 23 or can be reserved online. Capacity is limited.

MLK Food Drive
Food and cash donations are welcome and will be accepted at the event.

Saturday, January 24, 2015
8 a.m. Check in. Run begins at 9 a.m.8th Annual MLK Celebration Stride Toward Freedom 5k Run/ 1 Mile Run/Walk
Start at Brown Field

Cost: $15 pre-register or $20 day of the race
Entry fee includes t-shirt (if registered by January 20th) and post-race snacks. Proceeds to benefit the Salem Multicultural Institute. Registration available at the Putnam University Information Desk, or online at Day of race registration begins at 8 a.m.

Women’s Game at 4 p.m., Men’s Game at 6 p.m.MLK Food Drive: Feed the Dream Basketball Games vs. Linfield College
Sparks Center

Donate or purchase food or $5 for free admission and support our WU basketball teams. Admission is free for students, faculty and staff with WU ID.

Monday, January 26, 2015
4-6 p.m.MLK Book Club: “Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese American Family” by Lauren Kessler
Alumni Lounge: University Center

Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese American FamilyLauren Kessler’s factual story of three generations of a Japanese American family's journey beginning with their immigration to Oregon and the subsequent racism of the early exclusionary laws barring them from citizenship to WW II internment camps.

Catherine Collins, Professor of Rhetoric, will lead the book club meeting. Register and pick up book at the Career Center, 3rd Floor UC. Book is free to WU Faculty, Staff and Students. Additional copies be can purchased at the WU Store. Co-sponsored by the Human Resources at WU and the Career Center.

7-9 p.m.“Expression of Justice” Open Mic with Walidah Imarisha
Bistro: University Center

Walidah ImarishaWillamette community voices break the silence as they reflect on experiences at Willamette and beyond through spoken word, poetry, music, art and other creative expressions.

Walidah Imarisha is historian at heart, reporter by (w)right, rebel by reason. Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, organizer and spoken word artist. She is the editor of two anthologies, Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements and Another World is Possible. She is the author of the poetry collection Scars/Stars and the upcoming nonfiction book focused on criminal justice issues, Angels with Dirty Faces.

Walidah has taught in Portland State University's Black Studies Department, Oregon State University's Women's Studies Department and Southern New Hampshire University's English Department One of the founders and first editor of the political hip hop publication AWOL Magazine, Walidah served on the editorial board for the national Left Turn Magazine. She is also the director and co-producer of the Katrina documentary Finding Common Ground in New Orleans.

Walidah spent six years on the board of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, and helped to found the the Human Rights Coalition, a group of prisoners’ families and former prisoners with three chapters in Pennsylvania.

Thursday, January 29, 2015
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.University Convocation: “"The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery And The Making Of American Capitalism" by Edward Baptist”
Cone Chapel in Waller Hall

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and The Making of American CapitalismHistorian Edward Baptist (Cornell University) will be speaking at Willamette in the first week of February. In preparation for his talk, we will convene in small groups to discuss the opening chapter of Baptist’s book which explores the nineteenth century forced migration of enslaved African-Americans from the Upper South to the expanding cotton south. A PDF of Baptist’s chapter is available by contacting

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
7 p.m.Witness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain
Roger Hull Lecture Hall, Hallie Ford Museum of Art

Witness: The Legacy of Heart MountainWitness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain explores the legacy of incarcerating thousands of Japanese Americans at the Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming during World War II. At the heart of the film are striking photographs taken between 1943-1945 from inside the Heart Mountain camp by George and Frank C. Hirahara.

While incarcerated at Heart Mountain, George and his son Frank – both avid photographers – captured images of camp life and special family milestones, such as engagement celebrations, weddings, and family portraits. The Hiraharas were part of a 1,000 person contingent from the Yakima Valley in Washington, who were sent to Heart Mountain.

Thursday, March 5, 2015
7:30 p.m.“Within the Silence” Presented by Living Voices; written by Ken Mochizuki
Hudson Concert Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center

Within the SilenceWithin the Silence tells the story of Emiko Yamada, a young teenage girl growing up in Seattle's Nihonmachi (Japantown) during the early 1940s. The Yamadas own a small grocery store where Emiko works and dreams of someday going to college and becoming a teacher. The Yamadas are proud of their American life and their contribution to their new country.

When Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 9066, Emiko’s family is forced to sell their possessions and home and sent to Minidoka concentration camp in Idaho. The story follows the Yamadas on their journey as they struggle to maintain their family while incarcerated and fight to sustain love and faith in the country they love.

Admission to the film presentation and performance is complimentary.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
7 p.m.The Cats of Mirikitani
Roger Hull Lecture Hall, Hallie Ford Museum of Art

The Cats of MirikitaniThe Cats of Mirikitani tells the story of eighty year old Jimmy Mirikitani, who survived the trauma of WWII internment camps, Hiroshima, and homelessness by creating art. But when 9/11 threatens his life on the New York City streets and a local filmmaker takes him home, the two embark on a journey to confront Jimmy’s painful past. An intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing powers of friendship and art, the film won the Audience Award at its premiere in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.

Admission to the film presentation and performance is complimentary. For special access needs, such as interpreters, please call 503-370-6855. For more information call 503-370-6265.

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