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Olivet College to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.ís peace work
Jan 17, 2008

Olivet College will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by highlighting King’s work in the areas of non-violent protest and peace. On Monday, Jan. 21 at 1:30 p.m., there will be a program in the Olivet Congregational Church United Church of Christ featuring a tribute to Kings work in peace by Maxie C. Jackson Jr., Ph.D., assistant dean and associate professor, Urban Affairs Programs; and director of the Affirmative Action Graduate Financial Assistance Programs at Michigan State University. Jackson is the former administrator of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta.

During the program, there will also be a presentation by Ann Varghese, field organizer for Amnesty International-USA Midwest in Chicago. The event, which will feature musical performances by the Olivet College Chamber Singers, will conclude with a tribute to the life of Kula Samba, a 1973 Olivet College graduate, who was executed in Sierra Leone in October 1998.

Samba was the former minister for social welfare, children and gender in Sierra Leone. Much of her work in that country concerned disarming children through a United Nations-funded program. After serving in the administration of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, a military junta took control of the government, which invited her to continue her work in social welfare. Later Kabbah regained control of the government and had Samba and 23 others executed for treason. His actions were condemned by many human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, as a serious violation of international human rights covenants.

After the program, there will be a ribbon cutting and dedication of the new Kula Samba Theater in the Burrage Library on the college campus. The theater will provide a venue for first-run movies and student film festivals. A film festival will run Jan. 21 through 25 each night at 8 p.m. The festival will feature a theme of war and conflict on the continent of Africa.

These events are a cooperative effort of the Office of Service Learning and Campus Ministries and the Office of Student Life. They are all free and open to the public.


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