SMU celebrates 50 years of ‘I Have a Dream’ Aug. 28, 2013

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at SMU's McFarlin Auditorium, March 1966
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium, March 1966

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.

Listen to Dr. King’s historic 1966 speech at SMU

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.

More about the SMU-Wiley College “I Have a Dream” debate

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.

Additional lecture and registration information

Written by Denise Gee

SMU hosts VP debate-watching event Oct. 2

(Originally published Sept. 30, 2008.)

Vote buttonsSMU will present an evening of events surrounding the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. The debate watch takes place 7-10:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in O’Donnell Lecture and Recital Hall, Owen Arts Center.

The event is part of an initiative by Meadows School of the Arts and its Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs to enhance SMU’s speech and debate programs.

Prior to the debate, beginning at 7 p.m., faculty experts will explain what to expect during the event. Live debate-watching takes place 8-9:30 p.m., followed by a campus debate on the issues sponsored by SMU Forensics from 9:30-10:30 p.m. The evening will end with audience balloting on the results of the TV and campus debates.

SMU is part of the national DebateWatch 2008 program, a voter education initiative of the Commission on Presidential Debates.

The program will be repeated for the two remaining presidential debates between John McCain and Barack Obama on Oct. 7 and Oct. 15. Attendance records will be provided to interested instructors. For more information, contact Director of Forensics Ben Voth.

Learn more about Presidential Debates at SMU
Visit SMU’s Election 2008 Experts site