|King Day Commemoration Events Will Feature Lifelong Civil Rights Activist Bob Zellner
January 03, 2013
Davidson College invites the public to an extensive series of events on Monday, January 21, to commemorate Martin Luther King Day. The schedule includes activities for children, performances and talks and seminars focused on social justice. The keynote speaker will be civil rights activist, freedom rider, and academician Bob Zellner, a protégé of Martin Luther King. The full schedule is listed below. There is no charge to attend any of the presentations, all of which will take place in the Alvarez College Union. For further information, call 704-894-2225.
| Bob Zellner
• King Day for Kids
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Brown Atrium
King Day for Kids features activities that promote literacy, social justice, and community involvement for children from kindergarten through sixth grade. Participants will engage with Davidson College students in small group readings, storytelling, and arts and crafts. At the end of the session, the childrenwill will receive literacy-based goody bags. Please register by January 14 via e-mail to email@example.com or by calling 704-894-2872.
• Keynote Presentation by Bob Zellner
11 a.m. in the Smith 900 Room
Longtime civil rights proponent Bob Zellner will speak about his experiences in a lecture titled after his 2008 memoir, The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement.
Zellner got involved in the civil rights movement following his graduation from Huntingdon College in Alabama in 1961, and was the first white southerner to serve as field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
His activities eventually led him to be arrested 18 times in seven states on charges such as "criminal anarchy" and "inciting the black population to acts of war and violence against the white population."
He and his spouse, Dottie, organized an anti-racism project for workers in the deep south called Grass Roots Organizing Work, and organized workers in the pulpwood industry. He made documentary and feature films, and toured college campuses talking about the civil rights movement. He wrote a Ph.D. dissertation at Tulane University on the southern civil rights movement, taught at the college level, and was involved in management of the NAACP.
In 2005, Zellner was a featured Civil Rights luminary in the award-winning documentary Come Walk in My Shoes, and he published his own memoir in 2008.
• Fireside Chat with Bob Zellner
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the Sprinkle Room
As a follow-up to his lecture, Zellner will field questions concerning his experiences as a Civil Rights activist.
• "The One Who Builds"
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the Smith 900 Room
2006 Davidson graduate Peter Carolla presents his documentary film, "The One Who Builds." Sited in Greensboro, whose population of 300,000 includes 8,000 refugees, the film focuses on a former Sudanese refugee named Omer. Omer earned his American citizenship and is now "paying it forward" as the founder and director of a refugee resettlement organization. His work with refugees reflects the ideals of Martin Luther King's "beloved community."
• "Poetic Reflections of Social Justice"
3 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Smith 900 Room
The college's "Free Word" spoken word club will bring to life the historic voices of social justice through poetic expression.
• "Young Immigrants in Action: Immigrant and African American Youth Join Forces on Comprehensive Immigration Reform."
3 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Sprinkle Room
Laura Cahue of the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center will discuss the contributions of young people across South Carolina toward a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Young immigrants are working with African American college students at Benedict College to become leaders for social change and to promote a future of living together rather than apart. Their efforts on the protection of human rights draws substantially from the legacies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and farmworker activist Cesar Chavez.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,900 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.