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Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations to be Held Jan. 17, 18 and 25

January 15, 1999 -- The University's second annual celebration of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday will be held Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium.

U.Va. alumna Rev. Brenda Brown-Grooms, storyteller and pastor of the First Baptist Church in Natural Bridge, will give the keynote address on "Vision and (Re)Visioning at the Crossroads of the Millennium."

The event, free and open to the public, is being held a week after the nationally recognized holiday since U.Va.'s semester doesn't begin until Jan. 20.

The local community's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, partly sponsored by U.Va., features the Hon. Marion Barry Jr., former mayor of Washington, D.C., speaking Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. at the Charlottesville Performing Arts Center. Donations at the event will be accepted for the Youth Alive Center.

"Living the Dream: Strength to Love," an interfaith worship service, will be held Jan. 18, from noon-12:30 p.m. in the Hospital Chapel, first floor east.

Brown-Grooms earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Foreign Affairs with a concentration in Soviet Politics from U.Va. in 1977 and became an ordained minister in 1991. Originally from Charlottesville and hailing from a family of storytellers, she is also a performance artist and portrayed Sally Hemings during last year's Virginia Festival of the Book.

U.Va's Jan. 25, 1999 Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will feature performances by Chihamba the Youth Alive Center Children's Choir and U.Va.'s African Drum and Dance Ensemble.

Over 700 people attended last year's celebration, and plans are under way for the year 2000. Anyone interested in serving on the MLK 2000 planning committee or participating in the event should contact program coordinator Kyra D. Gaunt, assistant professor of ethnomusicology, at 924-3052 or kg6j@virginia.edu.

The 1999 program is sponsored by the Music and History departments, the Women's Studies program, and the offices of Equal Opportunity Programs, African American Affairs and the Vice President of Student Affairs.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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