Wyoming Arts Council

Spoken-word artist performs for UW’s "Martin Luther King Jr. "Days of Dialogue"

New York City spoken-word artist and author Saul Williams is the keynote speaker for the 2008 Martin Luther King Jr./Days of Dialogue (MLK/DOD) celebration Jan. 21-25, at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Williams will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the Wyoming Union Yellowstone Ballroom. He will read his poetry earlier that day from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., also in the Yellowstone Ballroom. Williams is the author of “The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The Lost Teachings of Hip-Hop” and had the lead role in the movie “Slam.”

MLK/DOD is UW’s annual celebration of the continuing impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and ideals. The theme for the seventh annual event, “The Politics of Dialogue,” reflects the importance — and difficulty — of honest, open communication in a pluralistic society, according to the organizing committee.

The week of special activities renews UW’s commitment to make its campus a more welcoming and empowering place for people from different backgrounds, heritages, orientations or abilities, says MLK/DOD committee co-chair Malinda Daniel. Several UW organizations and Laramie businesses sponsor the week’s activities.

Most events are free and all are open to the public. Activities during the week are:

Monday, Jan. 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, community service projects, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Laramie; Martin Luther King Jr. March and Dr. Willena Stanford Community Supper, begins at the Albany County Courthouse and ends at the Wyoming Union Yellowstone Ballroom, 4-6:30 p.m. The 2008 Willena Stanford Diversity Award will be presented at the dinner.

Tuesday, Jan. 22: Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning book discussion of “Teaching Defiance: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators, a book written in wartime by Michael Newman”, noon-1:30, Coe Library Room 307; performance by Day Acoli, Denver hip-hop poet, 6 p.m., Wyoming Union Yellowstone Ballroom; “One Arab, One Jew, One Stage” comedy show, featuring stand-up comic duo Bob Alper and Azhar Usman, 8 p.m., UW College of Arts and Sciences auditorium.

Wednesday, Jan. 23: “Food of Diversity” smorgasbord, featuring foods from around the world, 4-7 p.m., $10 per person or free to students with UW meal plan, Washakie Dining Center; exhibition of African mud paintings from Kenya and Ghana, reception and gallery viewing with curator Godwill Mock, 5-7 p.m., Wyoming Union Senate Chambers, with the exhibition on display in the ASUW Gallery in the lower level of the Wyoming Union.

Thursday, Jan. 24: Keepers of the Fire Talking Circle, “Going Home Again After College,” panel discussion and lunch, including guests Trivia Afraid of Lightning, student from Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and Patterson Yazzie, communications specialist at American Indian College Fund, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Wyoming Union Senate Chambers; “Don’t Let Others Define You,” presentation by Trivia Afraid of Lightning, 3-4 p.m., Wyoming Union Yellowstone Ballroom; performance by Boston-based Soulfege, global urban fusion band, 8 p.m., Yellowstone Ballroom.

Friday, Jan. 25: Talk by Guy Padgett, youngest-ever mayor of Casper and first openly gay mayor in Wyoming, 4 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Family Room; Poetry Slam, 9 p.m., Washakie Center King Street Market.

Among other events are a book display at Coe Library, presentations sponsored by the College of Law and the President’s Advisory Council on Minorities’ and Women’s Affairs (PACMWA), and a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Art Show, featuring art by Laramie K-12 students.

For a detailed listing of all events, visit the UW Web site at http://www.uwyo.edu/mlk.

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