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Week of January 14, 2013

The rebirth of civil rights: A new movement for a new generation

UM-Flint will continue its tradition of service in honor of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 21. Classes will not be in session on that date, but all members of the UM-Flint campus community are encouraged to participate in the annual Day of Service by volunteering their time at various sites around Genesee County.

The theme for this year’s Day of Service is The Re-birth of Civil Rights: A New Movement for a New Generation. This theme challenges students, faculty, and staff to consider, for a moment, our roles in affecting social change.

Crystal Flynn of UM-Flint’s Diversity Education Services believes that in the nearly 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, much has changed, and yet much has not.

“Whether in the classroom or beyond, we hope to inspire, empower, and incite our own dialogue with events and activities that remind us of Dr. King’s dream of racial and economic equality,” Flynn says.

Throughout the month of January there are many community events taking place. In addition to the Day of Service, people can gather to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama as he is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States in the Loving Cultural Center in the University Center. A complete listing of all events for the month can be found on the MLK Day 2013 website, www.umflint.edu/diversity/mlk_day/index.htm.

A powerful image of King’s police mug shot used in this year’s theme was selected by UM-Flint alumnus and graphic artist James Thigpen.

“The title for this year’s MLK Day of Service inspires me,” Thigpen said. “It shows me that the work is not done. It shows me how recent the history of the movement actually is. I just didn’t want to soften the blow.”

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