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Movies, community events among highlights of MLK events

Jeff Unger, News Bureau

Released 1/4/2007

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A screening of “After Innocence,” including a discussion with the director of the 2006 film, will be the kick-off event of this year’s University of Illinois commemoration of the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The free public showing will begin at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park St., Champaign. The week-long commemoration runs through Jan. 24.

Jessica Sanders, who directed the movie that tells the true story of seven men wrongfully imprisoned for decades and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence, will participate in question-and-answer after the movie. U. of I. speech communication professor Stephen Hartnett also will take part in the discussion.

On Jan. 20, a community event for families, “Justice and Activism: Then and Now,” will take place beginning at 2 p.m. in the lobby of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, and will include a reception as well as hip hop dance demonstrations, music, hands-on activities and a performance by the Douglass Center Drum Corps. The event is free and open to the public.

“American Blackout,” a film that won a special jury prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, will be shown Jan. 23 beginning at 7 p.m. in the main lounge at Allen Hall, 1005 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana. The movie chronicles the recurring patterns of voter disenfranchisement from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 while following the story of Cynthia McKinney, a member of Congress from Georgia. She not only took an active role investigating voting irregularities, but also made news after publicly questioning the Bush administration about the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The screening is free and open to the public.

A complete schedule of events is posted online.