January 06, 2012

‘Live Your Dream’ is theme of King remembrance

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Minister, civil rights activist and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King Jr. changed America, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance 2012 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale pays homage to the man and his legacy.

“The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance serves as a public reminder of what has been done, is being done and can be done when individuals and members of diverse communities come together to live up to the ideals of truth, justice and fairness for all.  As part of an educational and cultural experience for students and others, the commemorative activities assist in the development and expansion of moral, ethical and historical perspectives within lives.  The Black Resource Center, in its mission to assist African American students and other members of the SIU Carbondale community to become well-informed leaders and engaged citizen scholars, is proud to host and coordinate the 2012 commemoration,” said Carl W. Ervin, coordinator of the Black Resource Center.

The two-week commemoration kicks off Jan. 15 and features a march and rally, films, discussions, a unity celebration, a voter registration drive and much more.  The events not only celebrate King and his impact, they also draw together people from the University and surrounding community to focus on continued change.  The theme of the commemoration is “Live Your Dream.”

David Goodson will deliver the keynote address on Jan. 18.  Goodson earned his master’s in social work from the University of Northern Iowa in 2001 and is an adjunct instructor there as well as at Hawkeye Community College. 

He created the Transition Project Helping Hands in 1998 to assist formerly incarcerated felons and in 2001 founded the Passport program to help middle and high school students.  Goodson began Social Action Inc. in 2002 and it is a non-profit umbrella organization under which many of his programs now operate.  He also helped found the Empowering Dads/FIRST Project at Family and Children’s Council, where he is program director. 

Goodson is the 2010 recipient of the J. Russell and C. Joy Lowe Good Neighbor Award in recognition of his work for social justice and assisting the minority community in Waterloo.  He has extensive involvement in programs for African American men and for ex-offenders, helping them to become self-sufficient and successful men who contribute positively to the lives of others around them.  At SIU Carbondale, he’ll share about his work and its impact.

“I believe that the MLK Remembrance is important because he championed unity as a means to an end in which all Americans are not bound by race or economic status but are valued as individuals.  In his celebrated ‘I Have a Dream’ conversation with America, Dr. King gave us a blueprint for how to lead and assured us that the power to do so resides within each of us.  This year’s theme, ‘Live Your Dream,’ is a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. teaching us that there is power in having and living your dream,” said Douglas Calhoun, graduate student in higher education/college student personnel and graduate assistant at the Center for Inclusive Excellence.

The schedule for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance 2012, with all events free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, includes:

Sunday, Jan. 15

    •  Southern Illinois Unity Celebration -- The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 4 p.m. at the Carbondale Civic Center, 200 S. Illinois Ave.  Various community organizations sponsor this time of celebration.  Organizers encourage those attending to bring canned good donations to benefit area residents in need.

Monday, Jan. 16

    •  30th Annual NAACP Martin Luther King Commemorative Breakfast, 7 a.m. at Grinnell Hall’s lower level.  Tickets for this popular event, sponsored by the Carbondale branch of the NAACP, are $5 each.  The program begins at 9 a.m.  Call 618/527-2863 for more information.

    •  Freedom for All March -- Martin Luther King Rally beginning at 11 a.m. at Grinnell Hall.  Join as students, faculty, staff and community members rally and march in recognition of the legacy left by King as well as by Cesar Chavez. Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and others.  The rally and march also acknowledge the ongoing struggles and efforts toward equity, freedom, justice and human rights.

    •  Third Annual AmeriCorps & City of Carbondale Neighborhood Beautification Project, 2 p.m. at the Eurma C. Hayes Center parking lot.  Join in this time of picking up refuse and distributing recycling bins to raise awareness of the city’s cleanup and recycling efforts.

Tuesday, Jan. 17

    •  Voice Your Dream Workshop, 6 p.m. at the Student Center’s Mississippi Room.  The “Dream Team” will collect dreams from SIU Carbondale students, faculty, staff and friends throughout the two-week remembrance, and the dreams and visions will all go into a special display in the cases at the Student Center.  Everyone is welcome at this workshop where participants will have the opportunity to voice their goals for the future, hopes for the human race and wishes.

Wednesday, Jan. 18

    •  MLK Remembrance featuring David Goodson, 7 p.m. at the John C. Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library.  Goodson, adjunct instructor at the University of Northern Iowa and Hawkeye Community College, works as program director for the Empowering Dads/FIRST Project at the Family and Children’s Council and is a founder and executive director of Social Action, Inc. a non-profit social empowerment institute in Waterloo, Iowa.  Goodson will share his dreams and how he and his work are impacting lives. 

Thursday, Jan. 19

    •  Beyond the Dream:  The Drum Major Instinct, at 7 p.m. in the Student Health Center Auditorium.  This event goes beyond King’s important “I Have a Dream” message to explore King’s legacy and other important talks including his 1968 “The Drum Major Instinct” speech just prior to his death, in which he spoke of leadership, service and selflessness.  This Progressive Masculinities Mentors (PMM) presentation explores King’s words and examines contemporary leadership and the importance of King’s principles for young people in today’s world.

Friday, Jan. 20

    •  “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People” voter’s registration drive, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Student Center Art Gallery. 

Saturday, Jan. 21

    •  Pearl Enlightenment Dinner, 4 p.m. at the Carbondale Civic Center.  This invitation-only event with required pre-registration features awards for the University’s registered student organizations and faculty who uphold and honor the standards of Alpha Kappa Alpha founders, members and honorary member Coretta Scott King.

Monday, Jan. 23

    •  “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People” voter’s registration drive, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Student Center Art Gallery.  Register to vote during this event.

    •  “Freedom Riders” documentary, 7 p.m. at the Student Center in the Ohio Room.  This is a powerful and inspirational depiction of the harrowing six months in 1961 when Freedom Riders changed America forever.  You’ll hear the story from the riders themselves along with journalists who told their stories and state and federal officials.

Tuesday, Jan. 24

    •  MLK monument documentary and discussion, 6 p.m. in Ballroom D at the Student Center.  The film “Alpha Man:  The Brotherhood of Martin Luther King” tells the little-known story of King’s days as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the country’s first black fraternity, when he was a 23-year-old Boston divinity student.

Wednesday, Jan. 25

    •  Living the Legacy, 5-7 p.m. at Grinnell Hall’s lower level.  How are people today striving for positive character and living out the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.?  Join with the Black Male Roundtable, Black Faculty and Staff Council and numerous other student organizations for this panel discussion offering personal success stories from faculty, staff and community members along with discussion of ways everyone can be part of positive change. 

Thursday, Jan. 26

    •  Spoken Word/Poetry Night, 7 p.m. at Grinnell Hall’s lower level.  Hear some of the University’s most talented speakers share their thoughts and words about King and the civil rights realities of 2012.

Friday, Jan. 27

    •  Inaugural MLK Basketball Tournament, preliminaries at 5 p.m. and start time of 6 p.m. at Pulliam Gymnasium.  The entry fee for what is destined to become an annual event for SIU Carbondale students is $20.  To sign up or for more information, contact Kwamane Robinson at kwamane@siu.edu.

Saturday, Jan. 28

    •  MLK Knowledge Bowl, 1 p.m. at the Student Center, Ballroom A.  Students from area high schools will test their knowledge of the civil rights hero.  For details, contact Pamela Smoot at Olivia@siu.edu.

Sponsors of the 2012 MLK Remembrance include:  Black Resource Center, Black Togetherness Organization, University Housing, Black Staff and Faculty Council, Black Male Roundtable, Black Women’s Task Force, Alpha Phi Alpha-Beta Eta Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha-Delta Beta Chapter, Speaking and Teaching registered student organization, SIU Carbondale Chapter of NAACP, NAACP Carbondale Branch, WSIU and Progressive Male Masculinities.

For more information about the special events, contact Douglas Calhoun at dcalhoun@siu.edu or Carl Ervin at cwervin@siu.edu.