Ithaca College to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with Week of Activities

By Dave Maley, January 14, 2019
Keynote address features artist and activist John Sims.
man on street

John Sims

Note: The Civil Rights Tour presentation and the keynote address by John Sims originally scheduled for Monday have been moved to Tuesday due to travel and weather issues. The updated schedule is below.

The spring semester at Ithaca College will kick off with a series of events honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The MLK Campus-Wide Celebration, Jan. 21–27, will feature presentations, discussions, workshops, gatherings and community service activities using the theme “Every Step Toward the Goal of Justice,” a quote taken from King’s book “Stride Toward Freedom.”

The celebration will include a keynote address by John Sims, who will present “Ablazing Glory: Space, Time and Justice” on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 5 p.m. in Emerson Suites. Sims is a conceptual artist, writer and activist who creates multimedia projects spanning the areas of mathematics, art, text, performance and political-media activism.

Over the past 16 years, Sims has been working on an artistic project titled “Recoloration Proclamation,” which explores, confronts, re-examines and remixes Confederate iconography in the context of the African-American experience as it relates to visual terrorism, history of American slavery and the politics of white supremacy. The project has been featured as part of numerous installations and exhibits, including “The Proper Way to Hang to a Confederate Flag”; a documentary film; and site-specific performances.

For his keynote address, Sims will combine selected readings from his forthcoming memoir with related short films to present a dynamic journey of bearing witness, creative resistance and collective healing.

Below is the list of MLK Week events that are free and open to the public

Tuesday, January 22
“Geometry of Justice: From MathArt to FlagArt”

Multimedia presentation by artist and activist John Sims on two large social system art projects that examine and arbitrate the language and culture of oppositional symbols and identities.
Noon, Klingenstein Lounge, Campus Center

“Was Dr. King an Ally?”
Presentation by Sean Eversley Bradwell, director of the Ithaca College Center for IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Social Change).
Noon, Clark Lounge, Campus Center

“Civil Rights Tour Presentation”
Presentation by the college’s first-year MLK Scholars on their fall break travel to the South to visit important sites in the Civil Rights movement.
4 p.m., Emerson Suites, Campus Center

“Ablazing Glory: Space, Time and Justice”
Keynote address by artist and activist John Sims, combining selected readings from his forthcoming memoir on the “Recoloration Proclamation” project with related short films to present a dynamic journey of bearing witness, creative resistance and collective healing.
5 p.m., Emerson Suites, Campus Center

“‘AfroDixieRemixes’: The Ithaca Responses”
Presentation by artist and activist John Sims of various tracks from his music project “AfroDixieRemixes,” along with the responses to it from members of the Ithaca College community. The event will also include a historical introduction of the song “Dixie” and additional music videos.
6 p.m., Textor 102

Wednesday, January 23
“Social Media, Social Justice and Media Literacy: Sports and Action”

Presentation by Cyndy Scheibe, professor of psychology and executive director of the Project Look Sharp media literacy program, examining how sports interacts with ideals of social justice in media. Attendees will engage with both traditional media outlets and social media.
7 p.m., Emerson Suites, Campus Center

Thursday, January 24
“Unpacking Our Own Privilege”

Through the lens of Martin Luther King Jr.’s allyship, peer educators in the Ithaca College Center for IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Social Change) will lead a discussion on accountability to become better partners for social justice work.
Noon, Klingenstein Lounge, Campus Center

“Stepping into Justice: Spirituality and Activism”
Community members from various religious and spiritual traditions will explore the intersection of spirituality and activism.
Noon, Clark Lounge, Campus Center

Interfaith Community Dinner
An evening of food and fellowship with members of the Lansing Community and Interfaith Communities of Greater Ithaca. Vegetarian, kosher and halal options will be available (Dinner is provided to students free of cost.)
5:30 p.m., Muller Chapel

Friday, January 25
“The People’s Movement”
One space features multimedia learning and interaction, while the other is intended to provide participants with an opportunity to practice mindful contemplation.
11 a.m.–3 p.m., Klingenstein and Clark Lounges, Campus Center

MLK Shabbat Service
Join Hillel for a special nondenominational Shabbat service celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and reaffirming a commitment to his vision of social and racial justice rooted in a spiritual tradition.
6 p.m., Muller Chapel

MLK Concert
Annual concert featuring student and faculty soloists and ensembles from the School of Music, along with cast members of Ithaca College Theatre production of “Ragtime,” the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers and guest artist Samantha McElhaney John, director of theatre studies at Music Academy of Garden City.
7:30 p.m., Ford Hall, Whalen Center

Ithaca College students will also take part in the annual MLK Day of Service from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. One of King’s greatest visions was a world with communities working together to address their challenges, and this program is an opportunity for students in the IC community to perform service at organizations and agencies in the Greater Ithaca area, ranging from the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library to the Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center to New Roots Charter School.

For more information, visit www.ithaca.edu/mlkweek