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Speakers, activities planned for MLK Commemoration Week

  • Judge Glenda A. Hatchett greets a participant at the 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration. This year's events feature two keynote speakers and many activities.

Posted on January 13, 2014

For the second year, classes will not be held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, allowing more students, faculty and staff members to participate in events.

Chuck D, founder of the legendary rap group Public Enemy, and now author and political activist, will be the keynote speaker on January 20. His presentation is set for 1:30 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room. It follows a silent march around campus that will begin at 1 p.m. outside of Zumberge Hall.

The day will kick off with concurrent social justice activities running from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Kirkhof Center and Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons. Scheduled are a poverty simulation, Upcycling “Crafting for Our Community,” film series and marathon reading sessions. Activities are offered again in the afternoon, 2-3:30 p.m., with the addition of a panel discussion.

RSVPs are required to attend the poverty simulation or Upcycling. Details are online at

Lunch will be served on January 20 for campus participants from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the Grand River Room. The Fisk Jubilee Singers, from Fisk University, will perform. The choir’s appearance is made possible by the collaboration of Seidman College of Business and Fisk University (H. James Williams, president of Fisk University, and Carole Williams).

January 22

Jeff Johnson, journalist, author and political commentator, will speak on January 22. Johnson is a regular contributor to MSNBC and the executive editor of This program will be simulcast to the Eberhard Center, second floor auditorium.

The Voices of GVSU will also perform, and awards will be presented to a community organization and faculty member, honoring their efforts toward honoring King's legacy.

January 23

On January 23, a discussion is planned, “The Continuing Trial of Trayvon Martin: Profiling and Privilege.” This event will start at 4 p.m. in the Grand River Room.

January 25

The King Commemoration Week concludes January 25 with a Day of Service, coordinated by the Community Service Learning Center. Volunteers will meet at the DeVos Center at 9:30 a.m. then travel to worksites. RSVP at

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