MLK Celebration 2011

21st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebratory Events

NOTE: change of Location for February 3 event (Morris Dees) - see below

MLK Celebration 2011 Event LogoMorris Dees

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." ---Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It has been more than four and a half decades since Dr. Martin Luther King's 1963 March on Washington when King presented a vision of an America that lives up to its ideals of liberty and justice for all. However, the startling rise of hate crimes and the extremism in recent years makes it clear that victory over rejudices and racial hostility remains elusive.

According to FBI statistics gathered for its Uniform Crime Reporting Program, hate crimes against LGBTQ, Latinos, Latinas, African American, Asian American, Arab Americans, Muslim and Jewish people have risen steadily for the last four years. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a center that monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States, lists the number of hate groups at a record level of 1,000. The number of militias groups jumped 244% in 2009 alone.

For our 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, the University of New Hampshire will examine some of the reasons behind this rise in hate acts, including racism, the recession, anti-immigration sentiments, the political environment, homophobia and religious intolerance. As we remember Dr. King's powerful and poignant call to action to confront hatred and demand social justice for all, we provide a forum for non-threatening, deliberative, intelligent discourse as a way to move forward. With information comes awareness and accountability, which must lead us all to action.

Schedule of Events

Social Justice Awards

The UNH Diversity Team, in partnership with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, annually honors UNH community members who have demonstrated excellence and integrity with respect to advancing social justice issues within our community and beyond. Each year, one undergraduate student, one graduate student, one staff member, one faculty member, and one student organization is recognized.

2011 Social Justice Award Recipients.

Art Exhibit: The Human Face of Hate Crimes: A Retrospect

Thu, 01/27/2011 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
MUB Strafford Room

Let no man pull you low enough to hate him. ---Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The United States history of discrimination against different religious, racial and ethnic groups dates back to the formation of the colonies This legacy of hate and violence is a serious national problem that shows little signs of dissipating and presents a challenge for our nation to live up to its cherished values of liberty and justice for all.

For this year's MLK art project, UNH students from various backgrounds will research and present photos documenting a timeline of oppression in the United States. These images will demonstrate periods of American history where "justice for all" applied to only a few. They will show how our nation, as well as those being oppressed, responded to hate. At the unveiling, the students will host a dialogue centered around the 2010 Princeton Review Ranking that placed UNH in third place with the least amount of interaction between different races of students on campus. This dialogue plans to explore the correlation between lack of communication, misunderstanding, and hate in an effort to move beyond hope to action.

Photo of Rev Dr. Kirk Byron Jones

Spiritual Celebration Grounded in Hope: Empowered to Love: Inspired to Act

Sun, 01/30/2011 - 4:30pm - 6:00pm
The Community Church of Durham Main Street, Durham

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. ---Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

An inter-faith and spirited celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. in song, readings, prayer, reflection and community. A wonderful array of music, poetry, spoken word and movement will be offered, and our community will be inspired to transform vision into practice, dreams into reality, and hate into love. All are welcome to this inclusive, moving and joyous event. Keynote speaker will be Rev. Dr. Kirk Byron Jones will be the featured speaker for the Spiritual Celebration. Dr. Jones has been a pastor for over twenty years, and is an adjunct professor of Ethics and Preaching at Andover Newton Theological School and Boston University School of Theology. Dr. Jones is the author of seven books, including his latest "Say Yes to Grace: How to Burn Bright Without Burning Out", released in Fall 2010.

Commemorative Address: With Justice For All

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 7:00am - 8:15am
Granite State Room, Memorial Union Building (MUB)

NOTE: For seating purposes this is a ticketed event - NO COST for admission
On Campus: Free tickets available at MUB Ticket Office
Off Campus: Free tickets can be reserved by emailing or by calling TEL#(603) 862-0693.

photo of audience"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me . . ." ---Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Activists and Civil Rights speaker Morris Dees discusses how our commitment to justice for all will chart our nation's future as America becomes more diverse, and economic disparity widens. Mr Dees will address the historical and current social, cultural, political and economic circumstances that have given rise to increases in the participation in hate groups, increases in hate crimes and the current political climate that fosters and empowers intolerance and hate in plain view in today's political discourse. He will also focus on how young people are being creatively recruited into a wide variety of sophisticated hate groups and the long term implications this may have, as well as the need for teaching deeper understanding, love and respect for one another.

Kenlyne Exume a senior UNH student will be our host, along with performances by the UNH "Owr Wirdz" spoken word group, and singers from the Dept of Theatre and Dance will perform "Seasons of Love" from the hit musical Rent

Tom Martinez author of book "Brotherhood of Murder"

The Powerful Corrosion of Hate: A Conversation about Fighting Hate with Morris Dees and Tom Martinez

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Granite State Room, Memorial Union Building (MUB)

Katherine BrownLike an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Join us for an interactive conversation between Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Tom Martinez, a former White supremacist group member. Dees and Martinez's stories explore how prejudice and hate are learned and how we call can unlearn them. Through these personal experiences, we will also explore and illuminate the systemic forces of hate, including economic and political factors. come listen to these powerful stories of transformation and offer your own strategies and insights combating hate within our community. Moderated by former President of the New Hampshire Women's Bar Association Katherine L. Brown and introduced by Sociology and Justice Studies student Chaquanzah Stephenson.

Reading List

Open Dialogue: Putting Belief Into Action

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 12:30pm - 2:00pm
MUB Strafford Room

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step" ---Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

How do specific religious and spiritual communities challenge unethical behavior and summon us to a loving concern for the welfare of all? What are our White religious and spiritual communities doing to recognize their privilege? How do religious and spiritual communities avoid participating in racism, heterosexism, disregard for the wellbeing of the earth, and habits/systems of division among themselves? Join us for a panel presentation of brief introductory words offering diverse perspectives on how people put spiritual beliefs into action against oppression. An open dialogue will follow.

MLK Events Sponsored By:

Black Student Union, Center for Humanities, Class of 1954 Academic Enrichment Fund, College of Liberal Arts, Community Church of Durham, Counseling Center, Department of Education, Department of English, Department of Music, Discovery Program, Diversity Support Coalition, Graduate School, Health Services, Memorial Union, Memorial Union Student Organization (MUSO), MOSAICO, Office of Affirmative Action & Equity, Office of Inclusive Excellence, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA), Office of the President, Office of Provost, Peter T. Paul School of Business, President's Commission on the Status of People of Color, Race and Ethnic Studies, Residential Life, University Events and Programs, UNH Chaplain's Association, United Campus Ministry, Waysmeet Center, Women's Studies

 NOTE: If UNH is curtailed during any of the above listed dates/times, then the program/event listed during this period will also be cancelled.  Curtailment decisions (regarding closures and delayed openings) can be found by calling TEL # 862-0000 or by viewing the storm information web page

FOR QUESTIONS OR FURTHER INFORMATION ON ALL EVENTS  TEL # 603-862-1058 or Contact Email: Sylvia Foster or  Email: Janice Pierson

Wheelchair logo All events are wheelchair-accessible.
For more information: EEO/ADA Compliance Officer, 603.862.2930(voice) 603.862.1527
call NH Relay 7-1-1 (TTY)