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Events celebrate legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 13, 2017

Nationally renowned author, educator, and activist Joy DeGruy will deliver the University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address on Friday, January 27.

The 6 p.m. event is free and open to the public and will be held at Strong Auditorium on the River Campus. Anyone requiring special accommodations should contact the Office of Minority Student Affairs at (585) 275-0651 at least five business days prior.

Monday’s MLK events

Monday, January 16, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. At 9 a.m., the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King Jr. Commission will host its annual MLK Community-Wide Celebration at the Eastman Theatre, 26 Gibbs Street.

At 11:30 a.m., Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren will present the keynote address at the 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Whipple Auditorium at the Medical Center. The event is sponsored by 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and Medical Center Administration.

The Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Avenue, will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities for children include creative art projects, such as making superhero puppets.

DeGruy, an assistant professor at Portland State University, is the author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing (2005) and Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The Study Guide (2009). An academician in social work with more than 20 years of practical experience in the field, DeGruy has spent her career amassing evidence of the trauma experienced by slaves, and how decades of subjugation under Jim Crow resulted in psychic injuries that have persisted in African-American communities across generations.

A self-described ambassador for healing, she offers workshops and diversity training for an extensive list of clients in the corporate, nonprofit, and higher education sector. She was also a consultant for Oprah Winfrey’s seven-part 2015 television series, Belief, which explored the ongoing search of various people to connect with a more spiritual world.

Joseph Lowery with quote: "We must not stop with honoring the man, we must honor the mission as well."More than a decade of distinguished MLK speakers
Photos, quotes, and video from Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Melissa Harris-Perry, and other past MLK Commemorative Address speakers.


She has appeared on news outlets such as CNN, ABC, and NPR, and has been featured in the New York Times and Essence magazine.

DeGruy will meet the local media at 2:30 on January 27 in the Frederick Douglass Leadership House, then speak with University student leaders in a 90-minute session. An invitation-only VIP reception will follow, leading up to the commemorative address.

The MLK Commemorative Address was instituted in 2001 to promote the issues of diversity, freedom, civil rights, and social justice. It’s sponsored by the Office of the President and the Office of Minority Student Affairs.

This fall, the Presidential Commission on Race and Diversity recommended that Martin Luther King Jr. Day become a University holiday beginning in 2018, to signal institutional support for the diversity and equality ideals expressed in the civil rights movement. At the first meeting of the Presidential Diversity Council in December, members voted unanimously to support the move.

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Category: Society & Culture

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