Williams College to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., January 9, 2012 – Williams College will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a series of events on Sunday, Jan. 15, and Monday, Jan.16. All community members are invited to join in these presentations and discussions.

Sunday, January 15:

On Sunday, Jan. 15, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., quilt artists Jeanne Marklin of Williamstown and Betty Warner of Connecticut will present “Unspoken Truth about Color: A Dialogue in Art Quilts about Racism” in the lobby of the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance. Twenty-four quilts will be featured, and light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, the Multicultural Center Change Series will present a lecture titled, “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin.” Rustin was one of the first “freedom riders,” served as an advisor to King, and helped organize the 1963 March on Washington.

Monday, January 16:

On Monday, Jan. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon, there will be a social change media project in Baxter Hall, Paresky. The project includes a film screening of Citizen King and a slideshow of activist, social, and cultural scholars of different social movements.

From 10 a.m. to noon, Williams College librarians Christine Menard and Mercedea Shriver will present “Understanding the Times and Reason for Movement: A Library Exhibit” in Baxter Hall, Paresky. They will provide historical documents, including national newspapers, magazines, Record articles, and photos, available for checkout on site.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Schapiro Hall, room 129, students in the Winter Study course History 22: Realities and Representations of Native Americans, taught by Laura Spero, will give presentations regarding Native American protests during the American Indian Movement and the Red Power Movement of the 1960s.

At noon, President Adam Falk and Muslim Chaplain Bilal Ansari will lead a moment of silence in memory of King and provide a few words on the importance of the day in Baxter Hall. Immediately following, selected essays and poems by 5th and 6th grade Williamstown Elementary School students will be read.

The museum exhibit “African Americans and the American Scene, 1929 – 1945″ will be open for display from 1:15 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Williams College Museum of Art. The exhibit looks at the role of African Americans in the visual and performing arts during the Great Depression. The curators are Dalila Scruggs, Mellon curatorial fellow for diversity in the arts, and Sandra Burton, Lipp Family director of dance. Scruggs and Burton, along with professor of political science Alex Willingham, will provide historical knowledge of this period’s influence on King.

From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., local speakers, educators, and activists will present “Continuing the Fight for Justice: Active Engagement in the Berkshires and Beyond” in Baxter Hall, Paresky. They will speak about their involvement with the Spruces mobile home park and the Occupy Movement locally. There will also be different interactive action stations in which people can take part. The student group Students for Social Justice is organizing this programming.

At 7:30 p.m., Stewart Burns, coordinator of community engagement, will give a talk and lead a discussion titled “Breaking the Silence of the Night: Dr. King’s Call to Serve in 2012.” The event will take place in Paresky Theater.

The events are sponsored by the Williams College Multicultural Center, the ’62 Center, the Chaplains’ Office, Dining Services, the Center for Community Engagement, Williams College Museum of Art, and Sawyer Library.

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For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map

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