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Martin Luther King Day Celebration Jan. 19-23 at UW

January 12, 2009
Dawn Turner Trice
Chicago Tribune columnist Dawn Turner Trice will speak Thursday, Jan. 22, at 5 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Family Room. (Chicago Tribune Photo)

A march, panel discussions, music and keynote addresses from a prominent newspaper columnist and the former American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) president highlight the annual Martin Luther King Jr./March and Days of Dialogue (MLK/DOD) celebration next week at the University of Wyoming.

"Social Justice Through Your Lens" is the theme of the event that runs Jan. 19-23. MLK/DOD renews UW's commitment to making campus a more welcoming and empowering place for people from different backgrounds, heritages, orientations or abilities. Events celebrate the continuing impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and ideals.

Most events are free and all are open to the public. For more details, visit the MLK/DOD Web site at

Highlights of the week are keynote addresses from Chicago Tribune columnist Dawn Turner Trice and Nadine Strossen, former ACLU president. Turner Trice's presentation, "The ‘R' Word: Using Journalism to Open a Civic Dialogue on Race and Culture," is Thursday, Jan. 22, at 5 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Family Room. Strossen's talk, "Social Justice Through Advocacy and Activism; Conversations about Current Civil Liberties, Challenges and Controversies," is the following day, also at 5 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom.

Turner Trice is a regular commentator for WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" show and has written commentary that was heard on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" program.

She has written two novels; "Only Twice I've Wished for Heaven" (Random House, 1997), which will be made into a movie, and "An Eighth of August" (Random House, 2000).

Turner Trice received the 2008 Studs Terkel Media award, two Illinois Arts Council awards, an American Library Association Alex award and a 2006 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

Strossen discusses the challenges to American civil liberties today and elaborates on issues that are particularly relevant: the war on terror and government's efforts to enact potentially intrusive legislation, growing demographic diversity, technological advances and a conservative political climate.

She was the first woman and the youngest person to ever serve as ACLU president. A professor of law at New York Law School, Strossen has written, lectured, and practiced extensively in the areas of constitutional law, civil liberties and international human rights. She also has written two books "Defending Pornography" and "Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex: Hate Speech, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties."

The annual MLK March and Community Supper is Monday, Jan. 19, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Albany County Courthouse, followed by a free dinner in the Wyoming Union ballroom. Speakers at the free dinner are UW Provost Myron Allen; former UW football player and Laramie businessman Galand Thaxton; Michael Duff, UW Social Justice Center interim director; student speaker Maria Simental; and an invocation by the Rev. Dr. Sally Palmer of Laramie.

For more information, contact Gracie Lawson-Borders, UW African American Studies director and MLK/DOD co-chairman, at (307) 766-2482 or e-mail

Events scheduled are:

Monday, Jan. 19 -- MLK Days of Service 10 a.m.-4p.m., visit the Web site for more details; MLK March and Community Supper, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 20 -- Inauguration celebration of president-elect Barack Obama, 10 a.m., Wyoming Union Family Room. GLBTQ panel discussion, free lunch, noon, Wyoming Union Family Room. Irvin Mayfield "Jazz Talks Social Justice," 4 p.m., Wyoming Union Ballroom. Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra concert, 7:30 p.m., Fine Arts Center concert hall, sponsored by Cultural Programs.

Wednesday, Jan. 21 -- ABSL brown bag lunch panel discussion, "Airing Dirty Laundry," noon, Wyoming Union Family Room. Diversity Through Art Film #1, 4 p.m., Wyoming Union Family Room. The Blue Scholars concert, 8 p.m., Wyoming Union ballroom.

Thursday, Jan. 22 -- Lunch with Dawn Turner Trice, free, noon, Multicultural Resource Room. Diversity Through Art Film #2, 4 p.m., Wyoming Union Family Room. Chicago Tribune columnist Dawn Turner Trice, 5 p.m., Wyoming Union Family Room. Former Wyoming Cowgirl basketball coach and women's game-day announcer Margie McDonald will discuss "Diversity in Sports: Title IX," 7:30 p.m., Wyoming Union ballroom.

Friday, Jan. 23 -- "The Kite Runner" book discussion, noon-1:30 p.m., Wyoming Union Senate Chambers. Former ACLU President Nadine Strossen keynote address, 5 p.m., Wyoming Union ballroom. Screening of "The Kite Runner," 6:30 and 10 p.m., with discussion following the first showing, Wyoming Union Family Room. Friday Night Fever comedy night featuring Eliot Chang, 9 p.m., followed by diversity question and answer session, Wyoming Union ballroom.

Posted on Monday, January 12, 2009

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