Willamette hosts week-long MLK celebration beginning Jan. 19

by University Communications,

To commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Willamette is hosting a week-long celebration beginning Jan. 19.

“Life Inter-rupted: A Look at Displaced Communities” consists of a series of lectures, fundraisers and other activities that promote self-expression, says student organizer Manny Rodriguez '15.

“We all have so much to learn,” he says. “I hope people remember that we all have a social responsibility to exercise equitable relationships.”

The featured speaker of this year’s celebration is Roger Shimomura, a nationally recognized artist. In his talk, “An American Diary,” he will discuss how his stay in Japanese-American internment campus during World War II influenced his works.

In conjunction with the speech, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art is hosting an exhibition of Shimomura’s paintings and prints from Jan. 17 through March 29.

“Roger Shimomura will offer a fresh, new analysis of social justice through his body of work and personal narrative,” Rodriguez says. “His art reflects a rich socio-political history — especially pertaining to racism and displaced communities.”

The lecture begins Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Rogers Music Center’s Hudson Hall. Free tickets are available on the second floor of the Putnam University Center weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Jan. 19. They can also be reserved online at http://www.willamette.edu/dept/oma/mlk/shimomura/index.html

Other highlights of this year’s MLK celebration include:

  • Jan. 20 — “Mountains that Take Wing,” 6:30 p.m., Room 122 of Ford Hall. The documentary features conversations between Yuri Kochiyama and Angela Davis during a 13-year span. The women review topics ranging from the prison industrial complex to civil rights.
  • Jan. 24 — Stride Toward Freedom 5K run/walk fundraiser, check in at 8 a.m. with the run starting at 9 a.m., Brown Field. The cost is $15 to preregister or $20 the day of the race. The entry fee includes a T-shirt (if registered by Jan. 20) and post-race snacks. Proceeds will benefit the Salem Multicultural Institute. Register at the Information Desk in the University Center or online at www.GetMeRegistered.com/StrideTowardFreedom.
  • Jan. 26 — “Expression of Justice: Open Mic with Walidah Imarisha, Bistro, University Center. Imarisha is an educator, writer, organizer and spoken word artist. She will help the Willamette community reflect on justice issues through spoken word, poetry, music and other creative expressions.

A full schedule of MLK events is available on the MLK Celebration website.