(December 7, 2009)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Centenary Celebrates King Legacy With Dream Week Activities

SHREVEPORT, La. — Centenary College will celebrate the legacy and views of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with a week-long tribute of lectures, film and document screenings, theater performance and other events taking place on the campus January 18-22.

"Dream Week 2010: Keeping the Dream Alive" honors the life of Dr. King with activities designed to capture the spirit of his message, but also provide the opportunity to reflect on the past while seeking hope, determination and an opportunity to act upon the promise of the future.

Monday, Jan. 18, MLK Service Day Project, 8 a.m.:

The week kicks off when Centenary students, staff, faculty, and alumni will have the opportunity to take part in the school's 2nd Annual MLK Service Day. The service project will consist of participants working at Creswell and E.B.W. Stoner Hill Elementary schools to spruce up the school campuses through painting, cleaning, and other minor improvements.

Dream Week

Registration is free with breakfast, lunch, and transportation provided. The day will begin at 7:30 a.m. with participants check in at the Whited Room in Bynum Commons. Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover will make the day’s opening remarks at 8 a.m. with volunteers departing by 8:30 a.m. and transported to the school sites. Volunteers will return to the Centenary Campus at 11:45 a.m.

Volunteers will take part in school beautification projects at both schools, such as planting flowers, cleaning and organizing classrooms, and painting. They will also create a LEAP Survival Kit for every fourth grader who attends either school; so that they will feel confident and prepared when LEAP Testing occurs in March. Finally, volunteers will be personalizing tote bags for each first grader to use as a home for their books. They can then carry their books to and from the library and school, and take ownership of their books, hopefully leading to a lasting love of reading. Each student will also receive a free book and treat inside their decorated tote bag.

Visit http://www.centenary.edu/mlk to register for the service-day project.

Dr. Aaron Dobynes

Tuesday, Jan. 19, CONVOCATION, 11 a.m. in the Whited Room in Bynum Commons

Dr. Aaron Dobynes, pastor at Shreveport’s Evergreen Baptist Church, will deliver the Convocation address. The event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, Jan. 19, documentary Prom Night in Mississippi, 7:30 p.m., Robinson Film Center, located at 617 Texas St, Shreveport:

One town, two proms…until now. Prom Night in Mississippi captures a big moment in a small town, where hope finally blossoms in black, white, and a whole lot of taffeta.

In 1997, Academy Award–winning actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for the senior prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi under one condition: the prom had to be racially integrated. His offer was ignored. In 2008, Freeman offered again. This time the school board accepted, and history was made. Charleston High School had its first-ever integrated prom—in 2008! Until then, blacks and whites had had separate proms even though their classrooms have been integrated for decades.

Canadian filmmaker Paul Saltzman follows students, teachers, and parents in the lead-up to the big day. Freeman addresses the student body. Girls shop for dresses and get their hair done. Boys rent tuxedoes and buy corsages. These seemingly inconsequential rites of passage suddenly become profound as the weight of history falls on teenage shoulders.

We quickly learn that change does not come easily in this sleepy Delta town. Freeman’s generosity fans the flames of racism—and racism in Charleston has a distinctly generational tinge. Some white parents forbid their children to attend the integrated prom and hold a separate white-only dance. ""Billy Joe,"" an enlightened white senior, appears on camera in shadow, fearing his racist parents will disown him if they know his true feelings

The screening is free and open to the public. A community discussion follows.

Wednesday, Jan. 20, Incognito, the Play, 7 p.m. in the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse

Incognito

Imagine discovering you are not the person you thought you were. That you have a family, a history, an ethnicity you never knew. How would this discovery impact your life, the lives of those around you; your vision of yourself and society?

Michael Sidney Fosberg has been facing these questions since 1992, when after having spent 32 years growing up in a middle-class white family, he discovered he is black.

He shares these discoveries in "Incognito," the solo-show that he has performed in theatres, high schools, colleges, and performing arts centers throughout the country -a production chosen by The Chicago Tribune as "one of the top theatrical events of the 2001 season."

"Incognito" is the story of his journey to uncover and discover his self, his roots, his family, and the difficult history behind the tragic American complexity of "race". The full production runs approximately seventy-five minutes with no intermission, and is free and open to the public.

Thursday, Jan. 21, CONVOCATION, Stereotyping and Prejudice workshop, 11 a.m. in the Whited Room of Bynum Commons

"Michael Sidney Fosberg from the one-man show of Incognito, the Play will facilitate a workshop and convocation on the issues of stereotyping and prejudice. The workshop and discussion is free and open to the public.

Thursday, Jan. 21, documentary Prom Night in Mississippi, 7 p.m. Jackson Hall, Room 304:

The Centenary College Film Society will present a screening of the documentary Prom Night in Mississippi. The screening is free and open to the public.

Dream Week 2010 is sponsored by the Centenary College Diversity Committee, SGA, the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and the Office of Community. For more information on the Dream Week events, contact Kelly Weeks at 318.869.5183.


About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as “One of the Best 371 Colleges” by the Princeton Review and one of “America’s Best Colleges” and one of “America’s Best Private Colleges” by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.

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