ELKHART Several local organizations have planned events celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 21.
Goshen College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day on Jan. 21 will focus on Kings ideas and legacy through music, poetry, a documentary, luncheon and discussions.
This year the event’s theme is “Shalom: That we may be whole.”
Events leading up to the study day began Jan. 15 with a full-length screening of “A Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed” at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building, Room 28. The documentary chronicles the life of Indiana native Vertus Hardiman, who was subjected as a child to radiation experiments that left him with severe physical deformities.
A second showing of the documentary will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 in the Newcomer Center, room 17. A community conversation on healthcare, race and the history of medical experimentation on African Americans will follow with Dr. Wilbert Smith, the documentary’s writer and producer, at 7 p.m. in the Umble Center.
A fiction reading by author Dana Johnson will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 in the Newcomer Center, room 19. Johnson is an associate professor of English at the University of Southern California and is the author of Elsewhere, California and Break Any Woman Down, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction.
Events on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21 begin at 9 a.m. with a spoken-word coffeehouse in the Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall.
A convocation featuring Dana Johnson and Dr. Wilbert Smith will begin at 10 a.m. in the Church-Chapel covering “the recognition of injustice and the need for forgiveness that compels action.”
A community luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall with discussion with Dr. Smith discussing healthcare and social justice and Dr. James Nelson Gingerich talking about local healthcare access moderated by Rebecca Hernandez, associate dean of intercultural development and educational partnership.
Advance tickets are required for the luncheon and can be purchased through the Goshen College Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566. Tickets are $22 each or $176 per eight-person table.
The day’s events will end with a MLK and Environmental Justice Workshop at 2 p.m. in the Newcomer Center, room 17. The workshop will cover environmental justice and examples at the national, state and local level.
Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center
The Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center, 1040 W. Washington, will mark the holiday with the opening of a new permanent exhibit.
The exhibit, “Making Waves: Civil Rights and the South Bend Natatorium,” explores the history of efforts to desegregate the Engman Public Natatorium where the center is now located.
The pool opened in 1922 and denied full access to African Americans until it was desegregated in 1950.
The center will hold a reception and open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19. The exhibit will be unveiled at 4:30 p.m. with a brief program including remarks from acting Director Alma C. Powell and Curator George W. Garner.
The center will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Other events at the center over the King holiday weekend include a public viewing of President Barrack Obama’s second inauguration address on Monday, Jan. 21 at 12 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture, 1045 W. Washington in South Bend, where a reception will be held after the address.
On Tuesday, Jan. 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the Center will host “Pulpit of Peace: A Night with King the Preacher at the Natatorium,” featuring recitations of excerpts from King’s sermons on Christian nonviolence from local pastors. There will also be discussion centered on the readings and “movement music.”
Elkhart County Interdenominational Ministers Alliance
The Elkhart County Interdenominational Ministers Alliance will hold a worship service celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 at Agape Missionary Baptist Church, 248 W. Wolf Ave. Proceeds from the offering will benefit Elkhart Community Schools for the purchase of supplies.
People’s History of Elkhart
People’s History of Elkhart will honor local efforts working toward Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of equality in a ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Historic Roosevelt Center Gymnasium, 215 E. Indiana Ave.
Rev. Theodis Hadley and Indiana’s Dream Initiative will be honored for their efforts to create postive change in the community over the past year.
The event will feature the Elkhart Mass Fellowship Choir, DiverseKrew hip hop dance group, local Latino rock band La Republica and Michael Zimmerman, Jr., tribal historic preservation officer for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.
Indiana Black Expo
The Elkhart chapter of the Indiana Black Expo will hold a march from Civic Plaza in downtown Elkhart to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21.
A program featuring Elkhart Central High School alumna and Division 1 basketball player Takita Earl will be held at Canaan Baptist Church, 933 Fieldhouse Ave immediately following the march
Earl now works for Elkhart Community Schools.
A luncheon will be served following the program. The event is free and open to the public.
NAACP Elkhart County
The Elkhart County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will hold its annual Marting Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21 at St. James A.M.E. Church, 122 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Rev. Jennifer Tinsley will speak and the NAACP city-wide choir will perform.
The Tolson Center, 1320 Benham, is seeking submissions from students in grades one through eight detailing their dreams.
Program Director Rechica Ledesma said the center has received essays explaining students’ dreams to stop drug dealing and wars.
An entry form is available at elkhartindiana.org. Submissions must be turned in to the Tolson Center by Thursday, Jan. 17.
The names of the winners will be posted on the center’s sign and the essays will be posted on the city’s website.