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Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

Talks by Dr. Benjamin S. Carson Sr. and Urban Prep Academies’ Tim King among free events

EVANSTON, Ill. --- “Building on the Dream. Acting with Purpose” -- Northwestern University’s weeklong celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. –- on the Evanston and Chicago campuses will include keynote talks, lectures, a day of service, panel discussions, music performances, a film screening and a staged reading of a new play by nationally known playwright and Northwestern alumna Lydia R. Diamond. All the events are free and open to the public.

Benjamin S. Carson Sr., M.D., one of the nation’s foremost physicians, will deliver the keynote address commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. at the noon hour, Monday, Jan. 16, celebration at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

Carson also will participate in an on-stage conversation moderated by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell during the Chicago campus celebration, beginning at 1 p.m. at Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago Ave.

Tim King, founder, president and CEO of Urban Prep Academies, a nonprofit organization operating a network of public college-prep boys’ schools in Chicago, will be the keynote speaker during the 7 p.m. Jan. 16 Candlelight Vigil at Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston campus.

Evanston campus Noon Jan. 16 MLK Observance at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

Prior to delivering the Evanston campus keynote address at noon at Pick-Staiger, Carson will be the guest of honor at a 10:30 a.m. hourlong Jan. 16 reception in the Lake Room of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive. The reception is open to the public.

The noon Jan. 16 Evanston campus program at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall will include remarks by University President Morton Schapiro and members of the Northwestern community as well as performances by the Northwestern University Small Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Victor Goines, and the Alice Millar Chapel Choir, directed by Stephen Alltop. Also performing will be members of the Northwestern Community Ensemble, directed by Nana Ohene-Adu, with piano accompaniment by Tarik Patterson Length. Lobby doors will open at 11:15 a.m., and the hall opens for seating at 11:30 a.m. General seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis. Parking is available at the Lakeside Parking Structure located directly south of Pick-Staiger.

Carson -- a celebrated professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine -- has directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for more than 25 years. He will share his journey from poverty to realizing his boyhood dream of becoming a doctor. He credits his mother, who only had a third-grade education, for challenging her sons to strive for excellence. Carson holds more than 60 honorary doctoral degrees and has received hundreds of awards and citations.

Although free, tickets are required for the Evanston noon celebration. Starting Jan. 6, Northwestern faculty, staff and students and the general public can obtain up to four free tickets at the Norris University Center Box Office, 1999 Campus Drive. Any remaining tickets will be made available at the door of Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the day of the Jan. 16 event.

Evanston campus 7 p.m. Jan. 16 Candlelight Vigil at Alice Millar Chapel

Urban Prep Academies’ founder Tim King is the keynote speaker at the 7 p.m. Jan. 16 Candlelight Vigil. He was named ABC World News “Person of the Week,” Chicago magazine’s “Chicagoan of the Year,” People magazine’s “Hero of the Year” and to Ebony magazine’s “Power 100” list. Featured on “Good Morning America,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Moth”/USA Network’s Characters Unite series, he has been recognized by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton for his work with youth.

King also is an adjunct lecturer in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences’ African-American studies program. The program at Alice Millar Chapel will include a reading from one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches, musical performances by University student a cappella groups and a candle lighting ceremony in addition to King’s talk. No tickets are required.

Evanston campus 2:30 p.m. Jan. 16 Staged Reading of “STICK FLY,” Josephine Louis Theater

The 90-minute abridged staged reading of a new play by Northwestern School of Communication alumna Lydia R. Diamond at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive, will be directed by faculty member Henry Godinez. The comedic tale tells the story of two adult sons who independently choose to introduce their girlfriends to their parents on the same weekend, causing sibling rivalries to flare, opinions to clash, class distinctions to divide and family secrets to unravel. The show is currently being produced by Alicia Keys and directed by Kenny Leon on Broadway. There will be no intermission. A brief reception in the Louis lobby will follow the reading. General admission is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. To make a reservation, visit or phone (847) 491-7282.

Chicago campus 1 p.m. Jan. 16 MLK Observance at Thorne Auditorium

Dr. Carson also will participate in “A Conversation With Dr. Benjamin Carson Sr.,” an on-stage discussion moderated by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell, during the 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16 Chicago campus celebration at Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago Ave. The Chicago campus program will include performances by the G3 Gospel Choir and opera singer Martin Woods. The 4th Annual DREAM Award will be presented to Project Brotherhood. No tickets are required for the Chicago campus event.

Other Evanston campus MLK Jr. Day Events

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 2012, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14. In recognition of the community-building work accomplished by Martin Luther King Jr., Northwestern faculty, staff and students and their family members and guests, will have the opportunity to volunteer for off-campus service projects in Evanston and Chicago neighborhoods. The registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 13. To register to volunteer, visit For more information, contact Andrea Bell, coordinator for Student Community Service in the Center for Student Involvement, at (847) 481-2350 or email

Other Chicago campus MLK Jr. Day Events

The DREAM Week: Martin Luther King Jr. 2012 Lecture series begins Jan. 9 and runs through Jan. 13. All the events below begin at noon and are free and open to the public.

Monday, Jan. 9, “Segregation’s Legacy: The School-to-Prison Pipeline,” Northwestern University School of Law, 375 E. Chicago Ave., Arthur Rubloff Building, Room 150. The panel will focus on the structural inequalities and segregation practices that disproportionately affect youth of color known today as “the school-to-prison pipeline.” Panelists include Indiana University Professor Kevin Brown, Anurima Bhargava of the U.S. Department of Justice and an executive from the Chicago Public School’s central administration. Steve Edwards, content development director at Chicago Public Media, the parent organization of WBEZ (91.5 FM), Sound Opinions, will moderate. Lunch will be provided for attendees.

Tuesday, Jan. 10, “The State Equal Rights Provisions: Construction and Consideration,” Northwestern University School of Law, 375 E. Chicago Ave., Rubloff, Room 150. Northwestern School of Law Professor Dawn Clark Netsch, Northern Illinois Law Professor Jeffrey Parness and Paul Benjamin Linton, special counsel to the Thomas More Society, will discuss the history of the Equal Rights Amendment and its current status at the state and federal level.

Wednesday, Jan. 11, Pro Bono Community Fair, Northwestern University School of Law, Rubloff Building, 375 E. Chicago Ave., Atrium. Representatives from local non-profit and community service organizations will be available to discuss service and engagement opportunities.

Thursday, Jan. 12, “Hungry for Success: The Link Between Proper Nutrition and Academic Performance,” Arthur Rubloff Building, 375 E. Chicago Ave., Room 150. Learn about the connection between healthy food, food access and education in school settings. Panelists will include Dr. Virginia Bishop, Feinberg School of Medicine; Cody McSellers-McCray, Westside Health Authority; and Malik Nevels, Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention. Kimbriell Kelly of the Chicago Reporter will be the moderator.

Friday, Jan. 13, Film Screening, “Waiting for Superman,” Hughes Auditorium, Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center, 303 E. Superior St. Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim’s award-winning 2010 documentary, “Waiting for Superman,” analyzes the failures of American public education by following several students who hope to be selected in a lottery for acceptance into charter schools.

Northwestern University Classes suspended Jan. 16

Northwestern University will suspend all day and evening classes Jan. 16, on both campuses for a full-day University-wide observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. (All other University operations will function that day.)

For updated information on these and other MLK Day celebration events visit
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