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King and the Campus: Voices of the Movement

Monday, January 15, 2001
10 a.m., Alumni Gymnasium

Voices of the Movement panel discussion to be featured

A scholar, museum director and minister comprise the keynote panel King and the Campus: Voices of the Movement for the 2001 Bates College Martin Luther King Day Jr. observance at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15, in Alumni Gymnasium. The public is invited to attend all events associated with the day of commemoration free of charge.

Jualynne E. Dodson, associate professor of Afro-American studies and religious studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Joanne Bland, tour director of the National Voting Rights Museum; and the Rev. James Foster Reese, director emeritus of the racial ethnic ministry unit for the Presbyterian Church (USA) will discuss the Civil Rights Movement, touching on personal involvement in the struggle as well as movement connections to other cultures. John McClendon, assistant professor of political science and American cultural studies at Bates will moderate.

Raised in the G.W.C. Homes housing project of Selma, Ala., Bland began her civil rights activism as an eight-year-old attending a 1961 freedom and voters rights gathering presided over by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Students for a Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activists organized Bland and other area children and teenagers to participate in the civil rights movement. In the front lines of the struggle, the young Bland marched on "Bloody Sunday" and "Turn Around Tuesday," witnessing brutal beatings, shooting and hosing of fellow marchers by police. Denied permission by her father to march from Montgomery to Selma, Bland nonetheless insisted on walking on the first and last days of the famous march. "We didn't see ourselves as heroes then, or even making history. We didn't think about things like that. It seemed as if it had been going on for so long it was a way of life," Bland says about her movement involvement. Today, Bland serves as tour director for the National Voting Rights Museum which collects and preserves the history of the Civil Rights/Voting Rights movements. "I think that is proper," Bland says.

Dodson's interdisciplinary academic research centers on how African Americans and other oppressed communities of color have constructed humane social structures despite injustices levied against them for centuries. Also a member of the Department of Ethnic Studies, Dodson focuses on the relationship between distinct religious traditions and movements for social change and transformation. Her current research centers on investigating African American religio-cultural associations in the Spanish and English-speaking Atlantic Diaspora, specifically comparing North America ("The Black Church") and the Caribbean (Cuban communities that practice African derived religions). Dodson received B.Sc., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Until his retirement, Reese supervised program and outreach organization for the African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American members of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Born in Harrodsburg, Ky., he attended Knoxville College in Tennessee, Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary and the University of Pittsburgh. Beginning his ministry in 1949 at a Camden, Ala., church, Reese then served as pastor of The First United Presbyterian Church from 1959-67 on the campus of Knoxville College near Selma, Ala. There he led and participated in the historic Selma sit-ins, protesting the city's Jim Crow laws and practices, much of it chronicled in "Diary of A Sit-In" by Dr. Merrill Proudfoot. Reese also served as professor of homiletics at St. Paul's Theological Seminary in Kimuru, Kenya.

All-Day Drop-In Session: Emerging Consciousness

This display features multimedia presentations about the impact of slavery past and present created by members of "'Black' Women's Slave Narratives," a course taught by Gina Ulysse, assistant professor of African American studies at Bates.

Bates Debates Morehouse

Bates College debaters square off against Morehouse College debaters on a civil rights topic, 12:45-1:45 p.m. in Chase Hall Lounge.

Afternoon Workshops

Afternoon workshops (2-3 p.m. and 3:10-4:10 p.m.) sponsored by academic departments. All workshops will be held in various locations (to be posted) throughout Pettengill Hall. Topics include: "Democracy, Difference and Civil Provocation: Learning Through Discomforting Encounters," "The Bible and Reconciliation: Help or Hindrance?" "Review of A History Short Term Experience: The Geography of the Civil Rights Movement" and "The Politics of Reading: The Impact of King's Legacy on the Literary Canon."

A Community Reflection

Four Bates students will lead a community discussion to reflect upon the day's theme, "King and the Campus," at 4:15 p.m. in Perry Atrium of Pettengill Hall.

Evening Performance

Student dancers under the direction of Lewiston hip hop choreographer W. Barry Dean, will perform an original piece "Content and Character," commissioned for King's birthday, followed by an hour-long gospel and dance presentation by the Boston-based ensemble Hope and a Future, led by critically acclaimed vocalist, educator and minister Wanda Perry Josephs. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Olin Arts Concert Hall.

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