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Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Focuses on Art as Medium of Change

December 16, 2009

Nikki Giovanni, world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator

Nikki Giovanni, world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educatorFor the 20th consecutive year UNH will sponsor a series of events celebrating the work and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The celebration, featuring internationally known author, poet, and activist, Nikki Giovanni, will not only focus on the use of art as a tool for understanding cultural struggles, but as an element of social activism through which the self can be transformed. For a complete schedule go to: http://unh.edu/diversity/mlk/. Events are free and open to the public.

Art Exhibit: “I Am Here, Hear Me”
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010; 6 p.m.
MUB Strafford Room
Using art to define, represent, and assert their identity, a group of 30 young men (from Raw Art Works in Lynn, Mass; Young Organizers United of the American Friends Service Committee-NH in Manchester; the New Hampshire Art Institute in Manchester; and MOSDEF at UNH) from various racial and ethnic backgrounds will examine what it means to navigate a U.S. culture where pervasive negative images and cultural stereotyping challenge their ability to be seen as an individuals.

The exhibit aims to address the complexities of personal identity, give visibility and voice to a group of men too long defined by others, and to explore the potential of the shared story as a tool of empowerment and act of cultural resistance to imposed invisibility.

Spiritual Celebration: “Art to Heart, the Struggle for Human Rights in Spirit, Song, Poetry and Art”
Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010; 4 p.m.
St. George's Episcopal Church, Durham
An interfaith celebration honoring the civil rights movement and music as essential components of the continuing struggle for equality, justice, and human rights for all. It will include music, singing, poetry, movement, prayer and reflection.

David Rivard, nationally known poet and professor of English

David Rivard, nationally known poet and professor of EnglishThe Artist’s Corner: A Conversation With Author, Poet and Activist Nikki Giovanni
Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010; 2-4 p.m.
MUB Granite State Room
David Rivard, nationally known poet and professor of English, will facilitate a critical conversation with renowned poet and activist Giovanni. The dialogue will focus on Giovanni’s latest work, lessons for today’s activists, her experiences in the Black Arts Movement, and her continuing commitment to social change.

Commemorative Address: “A Sweet Inspiration: King, Poetry and Movement”
Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010; 7-8:30 p.m.
PCAC Johnson Theatre
Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. During the past 30 years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in lectures, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others. With her unique ability to speak to the moment, Giovanni’s presentation will intertwine her reflections on the current culture wars and the larger political and social issues with readings from her work. For more information on Giovanni go to: http://www.unh.edu/diversity/mlk/2010/keynote.html   


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