Martin Luther King Day activities will celebrate 50th anniversary of Freedom Rides
By Janel Shoun on 12/1/2010
Students were welcomed back from Thanksgiving break by a tepee constructed in the style of the Plains Indians on Bison Square. Students were able to help with the construction and enjoy a lunch break inside the tepee as part of the Native American Heritage Fair, Monday, Nov. 29.
Representatives from several Native American tribes were on campus with informative displays, traditional items for sale and story-telling. Also Native American musician -- JJ Kent (Lakota Sioux) -- also performed for students. Kent was awarded the 2010 Flutist of the Year by the Native American Music Association.
The Native American Heritage Fair was just one of many multicultural events held throughout campus this year by the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Development and various academic departments. Such events are part of Lipscomb’s effort to instill a global perspective and cultural awareness within every student before graduation.
Earlier in November, Lipscomb's Department of Foreign Languages and the intercultural office aired the documentary Trail of Tears, with James Earl Jones, Wes Studi and Crystal Gayle, and in April, the College of Arts & Sciences sponsored a showing of Freedom Riders at the Nashville Film Festival.
Martin Luther King Week activities
Lipscomb University will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides in the days before and after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 11-20, with a variety of service projects, special events and visits by three of the original Freedom Riders who boarded buses in Nashville to ride across state lines, challenging Jim Crow laws in the South.
Lipscomb’s service-learning program SALT and one of the campus service clubs, Sigma Pi Beta, will join the Office of Intercultural Development to carry out a civil rights march on Jan. 17 and various service projects for students with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and Kappa Iota Theta, the on-campus student multicultural club.
Two events will be open to the general public: a free showing of Freedom Riders, an independent film by Stanley Nelson, on Tuesday, Jan. 11, and a Jan. 13 talk by Bernard LaFayette, a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960, a participant in the Freedom Rides and the current director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island.
Also on Jan. 13, two other Freedom Riders -- Etta Simpson Ray and Jean Smith -- will speak on their experiences and present mementoes in a historical exhibit in Shamblin Theatre.
Click here to see the campus calendar
Multicultural activities in 2010