SMU kicked off its annual Martin Luther King Day observance by participating in the City of Dallas’ 2018 MLK Day Parade on Monday, Jan. 15. President R. Gerald Turner and Vice President for Student Affairs K.C. Mmeje were among the University community members who rode the SMU float, walked the parade route on MLK Boulevard, and mingled with fellow citizens.
The celebration continues throughout January with Dream Week 2018 — featuring discussions, screenings, and service opportunities for the entire campus.
Fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke on the campus of SMU, the visionary civil rights leader’s visit will be celebrated by the University community as part of the Jan. 15-21 Dream Week activities surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“This is an opportunity for us as an SMU community to join the rest of the country in celebrating and commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” says Director of Multicultural Student AffairsCreston Lynch. “Whether it’s participating in the MLK Day of Service, parade, or any of the week’s programs, there are plenty of chances to reflect in different ways on the issues relating to social justice and equity that Dr. King stood for.”
Headlining the list of SMU Dream Week activities is an appearance by Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, who will speak about the origins of the social justice movement at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hughes-Trigg Commons.
DREAM WEEK SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, JAN. 15 SMU presents Dallas Civil Rights Museum with memorabilia from 1966 MLK campus appearance
A contingent of SMU representatives, including Student Body President Carlton Adams, Association of Black Students President D’Marquis Allen and former Student Senate Chair Charles Cox, who introduced King before his speech at SMU, will present a transcript of the speech and a photo from the event to the Dallas Civil Rights Museum at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.
SATURDAY, JAN. 16 SMU Participates in Dallas’ 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration
SMU President R. Gerald Turner will participate in the MLK Community Center’s annual fundraiser by telling the story of how King was invited and came to speak at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium on March 17, 1966.
MONDAY, JAN. 18 SMU Participates in the Dallas Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Parade
Starting Point: 10 a.m. at the intersection of Holmes St. and Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. About: SMU administrators, faculty and students will participate in the annual Dallas parade and celebration. Led by the Mustang Band, participants will include former SMU Student Senate Chair Charles Cox, who introduced King when he spoke at the University 50 years ago, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner. Alumni of SMU’s annual spring break Civil Rights Pilgrimage, members of the SMU Student Senate, incoming SMU Vice President for Student Affairs Pamela Anthony, SMU Vice President for Development and External Affairs Brad Cheves and SMU student athletes and coaches also will join the parade.
About: SMU students, faculty and staff will join others across the country in a national day of service. Opportunities include building fun and educational environments for children at SPARK!, organizing and restocking a Brother Bill’s Helping Hand grocery store that provides free food to more than 300 families per week, building ramps at homes of those with physical disabilities and helping prepare items for the Dallas region’s homeless. Brunch and transportation provided. Co-sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and Community Engagement and Leadership.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 20 Commemorative Unity Walk on SMU campus
Starting Point: Noon at Hughes-Trigg Commons, 3140 Dyer St., Dallas, 75205 About: SMU President R. Gerald Turner and student leaders will lead the annual Unity Walk, a demonstration of the University’s support of Martin Luther King Jr.’s work. All members of the SMU community are invited to join the walk, which will begin at Hughes-Trigg Student Center, continue around Bishop Boulevard and return to Hughes-Trigg. The time together is a demonstration of commitment as a university to the work of Dr. King.
An Evening with Alicia Garza
About: Alicia Garza is co-founder of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. At 5:30 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg, she will talk about the process of creating and spreading the hash tag that branded the movement, the controversy behind it, and her personal experiences in the social justice movement.
THURSDAY, JAN. 21 Film Screening: Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin
About: “Brother Outsider” examines the life of Bayard Rustin, King’s right-hand man and chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Rustin had a significant influence on the civil rights movement, but rarely served as a public spokesman due to his homosexuality and involvement in an interracial relationship. Sponsored by SMU’s Women and LGBT Center at 1:30 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg.
Dallas Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, 10 a.m., starting at Dallas City Hall. SMU administrators, faculty and students will participate in the City of Dallas’ parade – including SMU President R. Gerald Turner and alumnus Charles Cox, who as a student introduced King when he spoke at the University on March 17, 1966. (Listen to King’s speech at SMU or read the transcript. ) Alumni of SMU’s annual spring break Civil Rights pilgrimage, SMU Black Alumni members, SMU Multicultural Student Affairs representatives and SMU student athletes and coaches also will march in the parade. Find more information at MLKCelebrationDallas.org.
Sunday, Jan. 18:
SMU Student Coalition for Equity Meeting, 2 p.m., 243 Umphrey Lee Center. The Student Coalition for Equity is a grassroots social justice movement run by and for students. The group addresses issues of social injustice and seeks to create change from the bottom up.
Monday, Jan. 19:
MLK Day of Service, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., volunteer meet-up in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center at assigned times. SMU students, faculty and staff will join others across the country in a national day of service. Opportunities include preparing the Vickery Meadows Learning Center for the spring semester, building ramps at homes of those with physical disabilities and helping with landscaping at local nonprofit centers. Breakfast, lunch and transportation provided. Cosponsored by SMU’s Community Engagement and Leadership Center. Find more information at smu.edu/volunteer.
Free screening of “Selma” for SMU students, 7 p.m., Angelika Film Center, Mockingbird Station. SMU students can catch a free showing of this 2014 release, just nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, which explores 1965 Alabama as a battleground in the fight for suffrage for African-Americans. The screening will be followed by free pizza and a discussion with experts on the civil rights movement. Sponsored by Morrison-McGinnis Commons; register at tiny.cc/SelmaMoMac.
Tuesday, Jan. 20:
SMU Unity Walk, 12:30-1:30 p.m., starting at Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons. President R. Gerald Turner and student leaders lead this annual demonstration of the University’s support for MLK’s work. All members of the SMU community are invited to join the walk from the flagpole on Bishop Boulevard to Perkins Chapel.
Wednesday, Jan. 21:
Real Talk: Conversations Around Diversity, noon, Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom West. With a January topic of “Is Your Voice Being Heard? Social media activism: How effective is it?,” this monthly discussion is open to students and other members of the SMU community.
Opening reception for Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights, 4-6 p.m., Bob Hope Lobby, Owen Arts Center. This panel exhibition uses letters, speeches, political cartoons and news articles to showcase the career of the South African anti-apartheid and human rights activist. The exhibit runs in the Bob Hope Lobby, Owen Arts Center, through Feb. 20, 2015. Cosponsored by the SMU Arts + Urbanism Initiative and Embrey Human Rights Program. Find more information at the Meadows School of the Arts News and Events homepage.
Thursday, Jan. 22:
Film screening, “Mountains That Take Wings: A Conversation with Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama”, 6:30 p.m., Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom West. Based on exchanges in 1996 and 2008 between professor and writer Angela Davis and grassroots organizer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Yuri Kochiyama, the film showcases the scope and depth of their knowledge on topics ranging from Jim Crow laws and Japanese American internment camps, to Civil Rights, anti-war, women’s and gay liberation movements, to today’s campaigns for political prisoners and prison reform. Sponsored by SMU’s Women and LGBT Center.
On the heels of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, renowned civil rights and social justice leaders and scholars will be at SMU to discuss the future.
“The End of Civil Rights in America? Reflections on the Future of Economic Justice from the Perspectives of Law and Religion” takes place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in Karcher Auditorium, Storey Hall, in the SMU Law Quad.
The keynote speaker will be Rev. James Lawson, a legendary civil rights activist who worked closely with King and was influential in shaping the movement’s nonviolent resistance strategy.
Symposium speakers and their presentations (with question-and-answer time) include:
Willie Baptist, Union Theological Seminary Poverty Initiative scholar-in-residence in New York City: “Reigniting Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign Today: From Civil Rights to Human Rights”
Jim Harrington, Austin attorney, founder-director of Texas Civil Rights Project and adjunct University of Texas School of Law instructor: “Private Actions to Enforce Civil Rights Laws”
John Martin, Dallas attorney: “Government Enforcement of Voting Rights Laws”
Evelyn L. Parker, SMU Perkins School of Theology associate dean for academic affairs and professor of practical theology: “Young Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice: A Litany of Issues”
Joerg Rieger, Perkins School of Theology Wendland-Cook Professor of Constructive Theology: “Why Both Race and Class Matter in Religion: Taking the Long View”
Eliot Shavin, attorney and SMU Dedman School of Law lecturer: “Wealth As a Suspect Classification and The Economic Bill of Rights”
Theodore Walker, Jr., SMU Perkins School of Theology associate professor of ethics and society: “Beyond Civil Rights to Economic Rights: Prescriptions from the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
The event is open to the public; admission is free for SMU students, staff and faculty. Registration is required and seating is limited. To register, contact Lisa Montes and include a name, e-mail address and phone number.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March On Washington, SMU students will gather to watch televised anniversary march ceremonies, debate the progress of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream with Wiley College students and attend a lecture on the legacy of the civil rights movement.
An all-day student watch party is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 – 50 years to the day after the March. The Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons will host live streaming of ceremonies marking the anniversary. Students are encouraged to write comments on a life-size poster regarding what MLK’s dream will mean 50 years from now.
At 7 p.m. Aug. 28, SMU hosts Wiley College for a “I Have A Dream 2013” Debate in 241 Umphrey Lee Center. The two teams will debate on the question of whether America is advancing on King’s dream in 2013. The event will feature readings from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech and from a letter by “Great Debater” James Farmer Jr., a key civil rights leader from Texas. The event is free and open to the public.
On Friday, Sept. 6, SMU presents “The End of Civil Rights in America? Reflections on the Future of Economic Justice from the Perspectives of Law and Religion” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Karcher Auditorium, 100 Storey Hall.
The event will feature noted U.S. civil and human rights leaders, scholars and SMU faculty who will examine the legacy of the Civil Rights movement — with its growing emphasis on economic justice and the struggle for racial equality — and its implications for the future.
The keynote speaker is the Rev. James Lawson, a legendary leader of the Civil Rights movement who was personally recruited by King with the words, “We don’t have anyone like you.” Rev. Lawson helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which played a key role in the 1963 March on Washington, as well as other prominent actions of the Civil Rights movement
The lecture is open to public and costs $20 per person, including lunch and parking.
SMU celebrates Dream Week 2013 through Friday, Jan. 25. And each year since 2008, the University shares online the speech Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made to a standing-room-only crowd in SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium Mar. 17, 1966. The recording was given to the University by Gene Halaburt of Dallas, who attended the speech and taped it with a hand-held recorder. (There is a brief gap in the recording at about 40 minutes, possibly caused when the cassette was turned over.)
SMU News has assembled the following related resources:
Student journalists from SMU covered the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary as part of a partnership with Fox TV to report on the race for the White House. The team covered the process from the perspective of college students in tandem with KDFW/Fox 4 in Dallas-Fort Worth. Visit links to their blog posts and video news clips. (Left, Mark Norris [black coat] and Ann Wyatt Little [red coat] interview a candidate supporter.)
Legendary producer and SMU alumnus Bob Banner talked about his adventures working with Perry Como, Dinah Shore and Carol Burnett during the Golden Age of Television at SMU Dec. 5, 2007. Watch the two-part video online.
SMU remembers Martin Luther King Jr. during 2008 MLK Week Jan. 21-26 (see Calendar Highlights for details). And now, for the first time ever, the speech Dr. King made in SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium is available online. Gene Halaburt of Dallas taped the Mar. 17, 1966 speech with a hand-held recorder and has graciously provided a copy to SMU. (There is a brief gap in the recording at about 40 minutes, possibly caused when the cassette was turned over.) Listen here.