Social justice types like to point out that Martin Luther King Jr. did not use his faith to browbeat others into becoming Christian, but to demand social justice for everyone. In return, Christians like to point out that King would not have had the strength to risk his life and demand social justice were it not for his Christian faith.
These two perspectives, along with a celebration of Dr. King himself, are peacefully and nonviolently celebrated every year here in C-U during the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend and beyond. Check out some of these events, where you just might get inspired to make the world a better place, be you evangelical Christian, social justice humanist or something in between.
Featured Event: 24th Annual MLK Community Service of Celebration
Sponsored by: MLK Scholarship Committee and the University of Illinois.
Speaker: Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, Civil Rights legend and former member of Dr. King’s executive staff.
Entertainment: MLK Community Gospel Choir, a collection of choir members from area churches who convene together every year for this event — not to be missed.
Where: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
When: Sunday, January 18, 2009, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
8th Annual Countywide Celebration
Sponsored by: The cities of Champaign and Urbana as well as the Champaign County Board and University of Illinois.
Speaker: Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, Pastor, Faithful Central Bible Church, Inglewood, Cal.
Entertainment: Barrington L. Coleman, Associate Professor of Voice (tenor), University of Illinois
Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 South Neil Street, Champaign, IL
When: Friday, January 16, 2009, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
24th Annual MLK Unity Breakfast
Sponsored by: MLK Scholarship Committee and Office of the Chancellor
Entertainment: St. Patrick’s Church and Holy Cross Church Choirs
Where: Vineyard Church, 1500 N Lincoln Ave. Urbana
When: Monday January 19th, 2009, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
High School Diversity and Conflict Resolution Conference
Sponsored by: Urbana Rotary and the Urbana High School Interact Club. Includes lunch, diversity presentation and conflict resolution presentation.
Entertainment: Urbana and Mahomet High School choirs
Where: Illinois Street Residence Hall multipurpose room, Urbana
When: Monday, January 19th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Reclaiming the Dream/History Makers
Speaker: Clarence Lang will discuss the HistoryMakers Project and their documentation of African American oral history.
Where: BNAACC, 708 S. Mathews, Urbana
When: Wednesday, January 21, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
The Legacy of Civil Disobedience: A Film Screening and Discussion of the Walk Outs
Where: La Casa Cultural Latina, 1203 West Nevada, Urbana
When: Wednesday, January 21, 2009: 4:30 p.m.
MLK Culminating Community Celebration
Art displays, craft activities, choirs, dancing and general merry-making in the Krannert Hall Lobby.
When: Saturday, January 24, 2009: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Screening of Brother Outsider
The life and legacy of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights movement leader and gay activist will be examined. A discussion will follow after the film.
Where: LGBT Resource Center, 323 Illini Union, Urbana
When: Monday, January 26, 2009: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.