JMU in the Community

Martin Luther King Jr. Week Celebration Schedule with Kevin Powell, guest speaker

Kevin Powell

SUMMARY: Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration week, from Jan. 15-19, commences with Kevin Powell, one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices in America today, speaking at the formal program on Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Auditorium.

Kevin Powell, political activist, poet, writer and entrepreneur, is the guest speaker for James Madison University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week formal program on Jan. 15.

Powell's presentation is part of the Jan.15-19 week honoring the life and legacy of the late civil rights leader. Events are organized by the Center for Multicultural Student Services and the MLK Celebration Committee.

Powell will speak at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Auditorium. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The program will include a special dramatic expression, recognition of people within the community and our guest speaker.

Powell is a native of Jersey City, raised by a single mother in extreme poverty, but managed to study at Rutgers University in New Brunswick thanks to New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund. Kevin has gone on to be the author of 12 books, including his newest title, The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood. It is a critically acclaimed and brutally honest memoir about his life, including his youth. This year, he will publish a biography of Tupac Shakur, the late rapper and controversial American icon. Kevin’s writings have also appeared in, Esquire, Ebony, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Guardian,, and Vibe Magazine, where he worked for many years as a senior writer, interviewing such diverse public figures as Tupac Shakur and General Colin Powell.

The rest of the events for the week of Jan. 15-19 are:

  • NAACP Breakfast (1/16. Madison Union 256. 8 a.m.) – This Annual breakfast, sponsored by JMU’s chapter of the NAACP, presents a time to share a meal and conversation with faculty, students and staff during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week.

  • Tea Time in collaboration with Mad4U (1/17. Madison Union, 3rd Floor outside the Student Activities and Involvement Office. 4 p.m.) – Celebrate the life and legacy of MLK over tea and scones. There will be an informal discussion regarding MLK’s impact on society today. This will also be an opportunity to view the banners of groups that are participating in the banner contest and vote for your personal favorite.

  • D.E.E.P. Impact Dialogue: Civil Rights to Social Justice (1/17. Madison Union Ballroom. 7 p.m.) – This dialogue will explore the rise of the modern day social justice movements beginning with the transition from civil rights to social justice. We will discuss influencers of modern day movements from celebrities and politicians, to hashtags and marches. 

  • March and Speak Out (1/18. Starts near Jimmy Statue by Varner House. 3:50 p.m. Ends at 5th Floor Madison Union Ballroom. Speak out directly to follow.) – This event is an opportunity to reflect on Rev. King’s contributions and the Civil Rights Movement, make connections to our lives today and dream about the future. All are invited to gather for the March at 3:50 p.m. at the James Madison statue where participants will march to several stops before concluding with the Speak Out in the Madison Union Ballroom.

  • Community Service (1/19. Boys and Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County – Simms Center and Stone Spring Elementary. 3:30 p.m.) – Give back to the community by joining CMSS volunteers as they partner with the Boys and Girls Club of Harrisonburg! The volunteers will assist with the after school program by engaging with the elementary students in various fun activities related to our MLK Celebration Week theme.

  • "Reclaiming His Dream" Student Gala Banquet (1/19. Madison Union Ballroom. 7 p.m.) – Sponsored by Esteem Models, NAACP and BSA, this Gala will feature many performances and entertainment to close out the week. Food will be provided. Attire: Semi-Formal.

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018

Last Updated: Friday, April 19, 2019

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