News Bureau | University of Illinois

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign logo


2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008
Email to a friend envelope icon for send to a friend

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Symposium set for Jan. 21-25

Jeff Unger, News Editor
(217) 333-1085;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Two lifelong civil rights activists, one of whom led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), will be among the featured speakers during the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Symposium Jan. 21-25 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Robert Moses, the author and executive director of The Algebra Project, an effort to improve mathematics literacy, will talk about his tenure as the president of SNCC and how he became involved in advancing the freedom struggle through mathematics education. He will speak Jan. 25 (Friday) at 4 p.m.
in Room 141 of Wohlers Hall, 1206 S. Sixth St., Champaign.

Judy Richardson, associate producer of "Eyes on the Prize," a PBS documentary, will talk about her experiences with SNCC and her subsequent work documenting the civil rights movement. Her talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 (Tuesday) in the auditorium of Smith Memorial Hall, 805 S. Mathews Ave.

This year’s symposium, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?," will begin with a plenary session Jan. 21 (Monday) at 1 p.m. in Rooms A and B of the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana. John Lee Johnson and former associate dean of students Clarence Shelley, the featured speakers, will talk about the history of the civil rights movement in Champaign-Urbana. After they speak, there will be group discussions on several historical and contemporary topics.

The symposium theme is taken from a King essay. The purpose of the symposium, now in its fifth year, is to use the King holiday as a time for public reflection on the life and teachings of the late civil rights leader.

The African American Cultural Program is coordinating the symposium, with sponsorship from the Chancellor’s Office, the UI Alumni Association, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Champaign Park District and many offices on campus.

All events are free and open to the public. Scheduled activities include:

orange dot Jan. 17 (Thursday): Countywide celebration. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Illinois Terminal Building, 45 E. University Ave., Champaign. Speaker: The Rev. Robert K. Freeman, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Rantoul, Ill.

orange dot Jan. 20 (Sunday): MLK Scholarship program. 5 p.m., Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana. Keynote speaker: The Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, pastor, New Bethel Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., and the president of the National Black Leadership

orange dot Jan. 21 (Monday): Plenary session, "History of the Civil Rights Movement in Champaign-Urbana." 1 to 2 p.m. Welcome by Chancellor Nancy Cantor; keynote speakers Clarence Shelley and John Lee Johnson. Rooms A and B, Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana. To be followed by group discussions from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. in Rooms A and B: Topics: "Elder Energy, Youthful Wisdom: A Generational Dialogue" and "Are We Realizing the Dream: Peace, Patriotism and Pacifism." From 3:45 to 5 p.m., the topics will be "Racial Profiling" and "Illustrating the Dream Through the Arts."

Reception. 5 to 6 p.m., South Lounge of the Illini Union.

Program on Martin Luther King Jr., broadcast on WEFT-FM (90.1), 6 to 7 p.m.

orange dot Jan. 22 (Tuesday): Center for Advanced Study Lecture: "The Creation of the 20th Century African-American Political Infrastructure." Noon. Dianne Pinderhughes, professor of Afro-American studies, political science and women’s studies. Levis Faculty Center, second floor, Music Room, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.

Keynote lecture: 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Judy Richardson, associate producer of "Eyes on the Prize" documentary. Smith Memorial Hall auditorium, 805 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

Reception for Richardson. 8:45 to 9:45 p.m. African American Cultural Program building, 708 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

orange dot Jan. 23 (Wednesday): Todd Shaw, UI professor of political science, will lead a discussion on King’s legacy. 6:30 to 8 p.m., Allen Hall Lounge, 1005 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana.

TEAM (Together Encouraging the Appreciation of Multiculturalism) Mini Conference: "Reflections on King’s vision." Illini Union.
orange dotorange dot 8 to 9:15 p.m. "Bringing Culture to the Classroom: Ethnic Studies Programs"; "Lean on Me: Diversity Resources on Campus"
orange dotorange dot 9 to 10 p.m. "Beyond Affirmative Action: Educational Opportunities for Minorities"; "What Can You Do for Your Country?: Community Engagement"
Locations to be announced. Discussions led by TEAM members.

orange dot Jan. 24 (Thursday): CAS/MillerComm 2002 Lecture: "In Whose Aid is Aid? International Cooperation for African Development." 4 p.m. Thelma Awori, former assistant secretary general and director of the regional bureau for Africa of the United Nations Development Program. Levis Faculty Center, third floor.

orange dot Jan. 25 (Friday): Interview with Robert Moses, executive director of the Algebra Project, broadcast on WILL-AM (580). 10 a.m.

Keynote speech: Moses, 4 to 5:30 p.m, 141 Wohlers Hall, 1206 S. Sixth St., Champaign.

Reception for Moses and book signing, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., third floor, Wohlers Hall.