Highline College's Martin Luther King Week Starts Jan. 19th

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Between Jan. 19th and 22nd, Highline Community College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week will feature nationally known authors and scholars discussing a variety of topics, including diversity, politics, education, sports and the legacy of Dr. King.

This year’s event includes an exhibit featuring local social activists and revolutionaries who played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement in Washington state. The exhibit is on display throughout the week in the Highline Student Union.

Here are the details:

WHAT: Highline Community College’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Week

WHEN: Jan. 19th through Jan. 22nd at various times

WHERE: Highline Community College’s main campus. Highline’s main campus is located midway between Seattle and Tacoma at South 240th Street and Pacific Highway South (Highway 99); address: 2400 S. 240th St., Des Moines, WA 98198.

COST: Free and open to the public



Dream Fulfilled? The legacy of Dr. King in an Obama age
A lecture by Dedrick Muhammad
9:00 – 9:50am, 10:00 – 10:50am Building 7

Dedrick Muhammad is a Senior Organizer and Research Associate for the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute of Policy Studies. His presentation will examine the current socio-economic status of African Americans, the progress that has been made since the time of Dr. King, and the prospects of African Americans under the Obama presidency

Cradle to Prison Pipeline
Celestine Lanier-McClary, Black Child Development Institute
11:00-11:50am, Highline Student Union Building 8, Mt. Constance Room

Children of color are entering the Criminal Justice at an alarming rate! In 2001, it was said that 1 out of every 3 African American preschool child has a chance of going to prison in his lifetime (CDF 2006). This workshop will explore the link between education and the criminal justice system and also examine the risk factors as it relates to people of color in the criminal justice system. During this time participants will begin to better understand this pipeline and start to create strategies for dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline.

MLK Exhibit
Highline Student Union
Building 8, Mt Constance Stage
Open all day/evening, Jan 19-22 Come view a display of local social activists and revolutionaries who played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement in Washington State.


Why are Poor People Poor?
A workshop by Dustin Washington and John Page, American Friends Service Committee and People’s Institute Northwest
9:00 – 9:50am, Highline Student Union Building 8 – Mt. Constance Room

Explore the roots of class inequality with two community organizers and leaders in the Seattle Area. Dustin Washington and John Page are from the Community Justice Program at American Friends Service Committee and do extensive work around anti-racism and social justice advocacy.

Workshop: Environmental Justice and You!
Presented by Community Coalition to Environmental Justice (CCEJ)
10:00 – 10:50am, Building 7

We hear about the environmental movement, but what we don’t hear about much is the Environmental Justice (EJ) movement. With the EJ movement, they take into consideration how certain populations are targeted and polluted on purpose, specifically people of color and/or low income communities. In addition, environmental injustice is impacting people not just locally, but globally as well. Come to this workshop to hear more about the EJ movement, discuss the root causes of environmental injustice such as racism and profits before people, and how you can get involved and make a difference.

Music and Liberation: A panel discussion
12:10-1:10pm, Highline Student Union Building 8 – Mt. Constance Room

Join us for a panel discussion with local activists and musicians. Explore how social change, activism and music intersect. The artists will represent different genres of music that include Hip Hop, R&B, Folk, Reggae and Latin.

Music and Liberation: A Caucus Discussion
1:30-2:30pm, Highline Student Union, Building 8 – Leadership Resource Room

Join a follow up discussion of how music was, can, and is used for activism.


Inter-Minority Racisms and Cross-Racial Identifications: The Role of Hip Hop in Shaping Contemporary Asian/Black Relations in the U.S.
Lecture by Nitasha Sharma followed by Q &A session
9:00-10:30am, Building 7

In this talk, Professor Sharma will analyze the political potential of hip hop for framing Asian/Black relations in the U.S. Americans often view Asians and Blacks to be distinct minority groups with little in common; however, history and politics reveal otherwise. Drawing from her fieldwork on 24 South Asian American hip hop MCs, DJs, record label owners, and journalists, Dr. Sharma will discuss how some Asian American youth call upon hip hop to articulate their racial identities and politics. Within the context of Asian anti-Black racism and Black anti-immigrant sentiment, perhaps hip hop offers a space and form for some youth to create cross-racial connections across these divides.

Nitasha Sharma is a professor in African American Studies and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University. Her ethnographic research focuses on Asian/Black relations through hip hop culture and the multiracial experience. She is the author of “Hip Hop Desis: South Asian Americans, Blackness, and a Global Race Consciousness.” Her latest project analyzes the negotiations of mixed race Asian/Blacks in Hawaii.

Poetry Workshop
11:00-11:50am, Building 2

Engage in this workshop for new and existing poets and discover how poetry can be used as a platform for expression.

Open Mic Poetry
Laura “Piece” Kelly & Freshest Roots
7:00-9:00 pm, Highline Student Union Building 8 – Mt. Constance Room

An evening of poetry open to anyone wishing to share their poetry in a like-minded environment. Co-sponsored by Freshest Roots.

FRIDAY, JAN. 22nd:

Freedom When? Race and Labor, Then and Now
Lecture by David Roediger, followed by Q & A Session
10:00 – 11:30 am, Building 7

Dr. David Roediger has a doctorate in History from Northwestern University and teaches African American Studies at the University of Illinois. Dr. Roediger’s talk looks from periods of slavery and conquest to current workplace traditions, to suggest that keeping people apart has been a consistent key to overworking and underpaying them.

Movie Fridays: SLAM
Facilitated by Aaron Reader
12:30-2:00 pm, Building 7

Slam is a 1998 independent film starring Saul Williams and Sonja Sohn. It tells the story of a young man whose talent for poetry is hampered by his social background. It won the Grand Jury Prize for a Dramatic Film at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Co-sponsored by Movie Fridays.

For more information contact Natasha Burrowes at 206-878-3710 x 3256 or via email.

SPONSORS: HCC’s Center for Leadership & Service, Multicultural Services and Learning & Teaching Center

MLK Week Committee Members:

  • Natasha Burrowes, Chair
  • Darryl Brice
  • Naiomi Etienne
  • Jodi Golden-White
  • Yoshiko Harden
  • Heather Johnston-Robinson
  • Aaron Reader
  • Gayatri Sirohi
  • Barbara Talkington
  • Gerie Ventura

If you need accommodations due to a disability, please contact Access Services at (206)878-3710, ext.3857(voice) or (206) 870-4853 (TTY) no later than January 5, 2010.

Highline Community College was founded in 1961 as the first community college in King County. With approximately 18,300 students and 350,000 alumni, it is one of the state’s largest institutions of higher education. The college offers a wide range of academic transfer and professional-technical education programs, with day, evening, online and weekend classes.

With the most diverse population of any college in Washington state, Highline takes a multicultural approach to education for the success of all its students and the prosperity of its surrounding communities. Alumni include Scott Schaefer, Publisher/Editor of this website former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, entrepreneur Junki Yoshida and Washington state poet laureate Sam Green.

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