Greetings! The MLK committee would like to thank you for joining us in a moment of reflection, advancement, and celebration of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year we bring you five days of invaluable and eclectic events designed to give you an in-depth look at the work of MLK and how it has impacted and continues to shape our lives today. Centered on the 50th anniversary year of King's iconic "Normalcy, No More", commonly referred to as the "I Have a Dream Speech," this year's celebration of King's birthday will examine the old challenges we face and new realties we dream.
Our idea is to look at how far we have come since 1963 and how far we have left to go, beginning in 2013. While the social injustices we face are seemingly different, we recognize that the practice of oppression and exclusion continue to exist in a very powerful way. We invite you to reflect on those challenges but more importantly, we urgently ask that you begin to create new realities. From conversations with Faculty and Staff and a keynote address from NPR host Michele Norris, to an experiential bus trip to Washington DC where the speech was delivered, everyone is encouraged to take part in this historic week. Thank you and we hope to see the community energized in the spirit of Social Justice!
NPR host Michele Norris to headline MLK Jr. Celebration
Her talk will address the celebration's theme of King's dream, 50 years later.
Michele Norris, the award-winning host of NPR's popular "All Things Considered" program, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, Jan. 24th for Lehigh's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in January.
Norris's talk will headline a week of activities that will run from January 21st through the 25th and are dedicated to honoring the work of the slain civil rights leader.
Through her decades of reporting, Norris has interviewed world leaders, Nobel laureates, Oscar winners, American presidents, military leaders, influential newsmakers and even astronauts traveling in outer space.
She joined NPR in 2002, after nearly 10 years as a reporter for ABC News in the Washington Bureau. She also worked as a staff writer for The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.
Norris has received numerous awards for her work, earning both an Emmy Award and Peabody Award for her contribution to ABC News' coverage of 9/11. She is a four-time Pulitzer Prize entrant.
In 2009, she was named "Journalist of the Year" by the National Association of Black Journalists. The NABJ recognized Norris for her body of work, in addition to her coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign - when she co-hosted NPR's Democratic presidential candidates' debate, covered both conventions, anchored multi-hour election and inauguration live broadcasts and moderated a series of candid conversations with voters on the intersection of race and politics. That series earned Norris and Morning Edition Host Steve Inskeep an Alfred I. duPont -Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcasting.
In 1990, Norris received the Livingston Award for a series about a six-year-old who lived in a crack house. That series was reprinted in the book, Ourselves Among Others, along with essays by Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, Annie Dillard and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
In her 2010, Norris' book, The Grace of Silence: A Memoir, Norris offered a soul-searching tome that unearthed long hidden family secrets that raised questions about her own racial legacy and shed new light on America's complicated racial history.
She attended the University of Wisconsin, where she majored in electrical engineering and graduated from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she studied journalism.
Old challenges, new realities
Centered on the 50th anniversary year of King's iconic "I Have a Dream Speech," this year's celebration of King's birthday will examine old challenges and new realties. An opening ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20, in Baker Hall and members of the Lehigh community will present reflections on that theme.
Other events will include a "Day of Education" devoted to social justice issues, an interfaith breakfast, the annual convocation and award ceremony that will feature Norris's talk, community service, and an experiential trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the MLK Jr. Memorial.
"Our idea is to look at how far we have come since 1963 and how far we have left to go beginning in 2013," says Tyrone Russell, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and co-chair of the MLK Jr. Planning Committee. "While the challenges are seemingly different, we recognize that the idea of practice of oppression and exclusion still exist in a very real way. Our focus the entire week will be asking people to reflect on challenges but more importantly, demanding that they begin to create new realities."