2011 King Day events include debate, performance

Vinie Burrows

Here’s a detailed schedule of events for the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day observances at Bates College. All these events are open to the public at no cost. For more information, please call 207-786-6400.

Sunday, Jan. 16

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Memorial Service of Worship takes place at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Bates College Chapel, 275 College St. The Rev. James Lawson, a definitive figure in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, offers the sermon. Also featured is music by two student ensembles, the Gospelaires and the a cappella Crosstones, as well as a liturgical dance by the troupe Justified. To learn more, please call 207-786-8272.

Monday, Jan. 17

At 9:30 a.m., Lawson presents the first keynote address of the college’s MLK Day events in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. His topic: the continued importance of direct action and social justice in the 21st century.

In the first of two breakout sessions in Pettengill Hall (rooms TBA; 4 Andrews Road), starting at 11 a.m., members of the campus community discuss ideas presented in Lawson’s keynote address and plan for future activism.

Members of the debate teams from Morehouse and Bates colleges, joined by local high school debaters, address the resolution that “Violence is a justified response to political oppression” in a debate at 1 p.m. in the Benjamin Mays Center, 95 Russell St.

For the second keynote address, Asher Kolieboi, LGBTQ community coordinator in the Multicultural Resource Center at Oberlin College, examines challenges for social activists in 21st-century American culture. He speaks at 2:30 p.m. in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall.

Another round of breakout sessions pondering Kolieboi’s remarks begins at 3:30 p.m. in Pettengill Hall.

Exploration of the day’s theme concludes with a plenary discussion with Lawson and Kolieboi at 4:30 p.m. in Pettengill Hall (room TBA).

Bates students present the performance Sankofa, a celebration of the African diasporic experience through theater, music, dance and spoken word, at 7:30 p.m. in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

Tuesday, Jan. 18

Vinie Burrows, the renowned actress, storyteller and social justice activist, offers a Noonday Concert Series performance in conjunction with the King Day observances at 12:30 p.m. in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall. For more information, please contact 207-786-6135 or olinarts@bates.edu.

Thursday, Jan. 20

Vinie Burrows (see previous item) returns to perform her acclaimed solo show Walk Together Children, a chronicle of the African American experience, at 7 p.m. in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St. A question-and-answer session follows. Though this event is open to the public at no cost, tickets are required. For tickets and more information, please call 207-786-6161.

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