Jan. 13, 2010 – “Diversity – The New Frontier in Science: Keeping the Dream Alive” is the theme of the University of Utah‘s 26th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The week-long celebration will highlight the growing contributions and importance of a diverse workforce in the sciences and technology through educational equity and opportunity.
Two keynote presentations will be offered and the tradition, started last year, of a rally and “marade” (combination march and parade) will continue in honor of the late Dr. King and his fellow civil rights advocates. The “marade” is expected to draw over 500 participants. The celebration begins on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, January 18 and continues through Friday, January 22. All events are free and open to the public.
“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration week reminds us that equal opportunity and quality education are essential if we are to better understand the changing natural world and face the difficult technical challenges that may affect our very survival,” said Pierre Sokolsky, dean of the College of Science at the University of Utah. “The breakthroughs in science and engineering that drive our economy often come from unique and gifted individuals whose impact is hard to predict. If education is restricted, by any means, for African-Americans, Latinos, women, or other groups, we are missing two-thirds of the world’s potential in science and technology.” Celebration events and presentations will reflect the importance of equity in education.
“It is our goal to truly ‘Keep the Dream Alive’ that Dr. King and so many others fought to achieve,” said Jennifer Williams Molock, assistant vice president for student equity and diversity in the Office for Equity and Diversity at the University of Utah. “We have a week of events that are diverse, inspirational and educational.” Celebration highlights include:
- Monday, January 18, Rally, Marade and Gospel Festival Cultural Celebration
3:00 pm Rally at Sugarhouse Park, 1500 East 2100 South followed by a Marade (march/parade) to Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle at the University of Utah, for the annual Youth Leadership Awards and Gospel Festival Cultural Celebration.
The Marade is 3.5 miles. Please dress appropriately.
6:00 Presentation of Youth Leadership Awards
6:40 Gospel Festival Cultural Celebration
Soul-stirring spirituals helped fuel the fire of the Civil Rights Movement. Join performers from throughout the community, representing congregations and schools, in a concert to “Lift Every Voice” in celebration of freedom!
- Tuesday, January 19, Noon, Keynote Address, Kingsbury Hall
Joe Rogers, Former Lt. Governor of Colorado – “The Dream Alive Program“
Dream Alive is an incredible live commentary by Joe Rogers, former Lt. Governor of Colorado, dedicated to the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. The program is an effort to help increase the understanding of the enormous contributions that Dr. King and movement leaders imparted to the nation and a reminder that their wisdom and vision are timeless. A captivating presentation, as if Dr. King were in the room.
- Thursday, January 21, Noon, Keynote Address, Kingsbury Hall
Dr. Robert P. Moses, Civil Rights Leader and founder of The Algebra Project
Robert Parris Moses began working with civil rights activists in 1960, and became co-director of the Council of Federated Organizations in 1964. In 1982 he received a MacArthur Fellowship and used the money to create The Algebra Project, a national mathematics and science literacy effort aimed at helping low-income students and students of color achieve skills as a means to social and economic equality. The Algebra Project reaches approximately 10,000 students and 300 teachers per year in 10 states.
Other events include two panel presentations – “Celebrating Women Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” and “Empowering Students for Equality”; an astronomy observatory star party; a science day for youth and a discussion about diversity & internationalization by key university faculty and staff.
MLK Celebration sponsors include the University of Utah Office for Equity and Diversity, the University of Utah College of Science, the ASUU Presenters Office, the University of Utah Alumni Association, Kingsbury Hall, University Marketing and Communications, Media One, University of Utah Black Student Union, Salt Lake City School District and Westminster College.
For a complete list of events, visit www.diversity.utah.edu/events/mlk. All events are free and open to the public. Tickets for the Gospel Festival Cultural Celebration are required, but are free. They may be reserved by calling 801-581-7100 or picked up immediately prior to the event. Media interviews with keynote speakers Joe Rogers and Robert P. Moses are available upon request.