Purdue University Northwest will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a variety of activities throughout the month of January at the Hammond and Westville campuses. The theme for the observance is “Valuing Our Shared Humanity.” All events are free and open to the public.
Celebration breakfast – Jan. 16
The PNW Westville Campus will host the 22nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 16 in the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex (DSAC) Great Hall. Doors open at 7:45 a.m. Reservations are not required. The morning’s theme will be “We Shall Overcome.”
Keynote speaker will be Garrard McClendon, assistant professor and researcher at Chicago State University. A noted Chicago-area television personality, he is host of the PBS program, “CounterPoint,” and earned an Emmy Award for "Off 63rd with Garrard McClendon.” He also directed the anti-violence film, "Forgiving Cain.”
McClendon continues the legacy of his parents as executive director of the Milton and Ruby McClendon Educational Foundation. Additionally, he serves on the boards of the Sheila A. Doyle Foundation, Donda’s House Foundation and The Reporter’s Inc. He also is a published author.
The event emcee will be Michigan City Police officer Dion Campbell. Gospel dance group "Judah Explosion" of Michigan City will perform as well.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority invites guests to bring new or gently used hats, gloves, socks, scarves, coats, sweaters and other seasonal wraps for donation to local families in need.
Breakfast sponsors include: Purdue University Northwest, Purdue University Northwest Multicultural Campus Council, The La Porte County Herald–Argus, The Michigan City News Dispatch, City of Michigan City, Dr. and Mrs. David Pratt, Horizon Bank, NIPSCO, Sinai Temple, Blue Chip Casino, 1st Source Bank, Unity Foundation of La Porte County, Visit Michigan City La Porte CVB, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Life Changes, llc. Joan E. Ganschow, Michigan City Commission of the Social Status of African American Males, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Sondra M. Craig.
Children’s activities – Jan. 16
Following the celebration breakfast, PNW students of Teacher’s Networking Together (TNT) on the Westville Campus will lead activities at the Michigan City Public Library, 100 E 4th St., from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for children ages 3-8. There will be books, crafts, building blocks and dramatic play activities focusing on the life of Dr. King.
Art Exhibit – Jan. 17 to 31
“The Civil Rights Movement through Art” collection, featuring pieces from the collection of Margaret Burroughs, co-founder of the Ebony Museum of Chicago, now the DuSable Museum of African American History, will be on display from Jan. 17 to 31. The collection will be displayed on the Hammond Campus in the third floor display case of the Student Union & Library and on the Westville Campus in the first floor display case of the Library-Student-Faculty Building.
Peace Jam Workshop and Competition – Jan. 24
A Peace Jam Workshop and Competition, Using Hip Hop to Unite, is scheduled Jan. 24. The event invites PNW students and middle and high school students participating in the Hammond Campus’ Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search programs and the Westville Campus’ College Bound Educational Talent Search program to explore how hip hop may be used to unite people across lines that sometime divide, such as race, gender, ethnicity and national origins.
Led by K-C Nat Turner, associate professor of Language, Literacy and Culture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the students will develop an original hip hop selection, using solution-driven lyrics and verses that promote unity as a way of celebrating differences, rejecting oppression and valuing all community members.
Participants will compete for a cash prize and the opportunity to perform at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation Jan. 26 at the Hammond Campus.
The workshop begins at 1 p.m., in DSAC Room 1115, Westville and at 6 p.m. on the Hammond Campus in Alumni Hall on the third floor of the Student Union & Library. The public is invited to watch.
Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation – Jan. 26
The PNW Hammond Campus will host its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation at 11 a.m., Jan. 26 in the Student Union & Library’s Alumni Hall. Its theme, “A New Perspective of Dr. King’s ‘Birth of a New Nation’ Address: Ensuring that Human Rights are Respected,” focuses on the sermon King delivered April 7, 1957 at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.
He had just returned from the new African nation of Ghana, formerly the British colony, Gold Coast, and he spoke of the universal need for people to be free and self-governing and how that freedom can only be achieved through constant work and struggle.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. K-C Nat Turner, Ph. D., associate professor of Language, Literacy and Culture – University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Turner has participated in racial justice educational reform efforts in the United States and South Africa. The convocation will feature a performance by winners of the Peace Jam Workshop and Competition: Using Hip Hop to Unite.
Student Survey: A Culture of Diversity and Inclusion – Jan. 10 - 17
Students in 10 selected classes on the Hammond and Westville campuses will complete the survey, “A Culture of Diversity and Inclusion,” which poses the question, “How may Purdue University Northwest create unity that promotes a culture of diversity and inclusion?”
The question also will be asked of those attending the Jan. 26 convocation at Hammond. Survey results will be forwarded to the PNW Multicultural Campus council for consideration.
For further information
To obtain more information about these activities contact Laura S. Odom, PNW associate director, Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at (219) 785-5545 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Roy L. Hamilton, assistant vice chancellor for Educational Opportunity Programs, at 219-989-2779 or email@example.com. To request a disability related accommodation for these events, please contact the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Hammond (219) 989-2163 or Westville (219) 785-5545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two campuses in Hammond and Westville in Northwest Indiana. The university was formed by the unification in early 2016 of the former Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central. With more than 15,000 students and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.