EVENT:  Elaine Brown, author and former head of the Black Panther Party, will deliver the Dr. Joseph L. White Lecture as part of UC Irvine’s 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium. Her talk will highlight six days of activities honoring King’s legacy. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Realities of Injustice: Where Do We Go from Here?”

WHEN/WHERE:    7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, Pacific Ballroom D, UCI Student Center (bldg. 113, grid E8 on campus map)

INFORMATION:    Free tickets are available in advance at UCI’s Cross-Cultural Center or by calling 949-824-4782. Media planning to attend should contact Laura Rico at 949-824-9055 or lrico@uci.edu. Parking costs $10 in the Student Center Parking Structure at Pereira and West Peltason drives. For a complete schedule of symposium events, visit http://www.ccc.uci.edu/mlk/events/.

BACKGROUND:    In 1974, Brown became the first and only woman to head the Black Panther Party. Her memoir, A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story, recounts her journey from the ghettos of North Philadelphia to leadership of one of the most important and militant civil rights groups in U.S. history. The book is the subject of an upcoming six-part series on HBO called “The Black Panthers.” Brown’s writing and activism promote the vision of an inclusive and egalitarian society, focusing on resolving the problems of racial bias, gender oppression and class disparity.

“Elaine has been an advocate and activist for several civil rights issues over the last four decades and has spoken candidly about many of our social ills in her literary work,” said Kevin Huie, director of UCI’s Cross-Cultural Center, which is planning the symposium. “I’m excited that our student community will have the opportunity to critically think about and reflect on Elaine’s vision of liberation.”

Other activities:

Monday, Jan. 21

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.: On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, people across the nation will honor King’s legacy of tolerance, peace and equality by volunteering, making the holiday a “day on” rather than a “day off.” UCI service projects include packaging food for the hungry at the Orange County Food Bank in Garden Grove. Transportation will be provided for those who sign up in advance. Contact the Cross-Cultural Center at 949-824-7215 or register online at https://eee.uci.edu/signupsheet/mlkj2013.

Tuesday, Jan. 22

6 p.m.: The documentary “The House I Live In,” directed by Eugene Jarecki, will be screened. The film offers an in-depth view of the U.S. criminal justice system, the war on drugs, and the country’s record incarceration rates. A discussion with light refreshments will follow. The screening will take place in the Cross-Cultural Center’s Dr. Joseph L. White Conference Room (bldg. 103, grid E8 on campus map).

Thursday, Jan. 24

5 p.m.: Bernard Lafayette, an award-winning educator and trainer on King’s nonviolent philosophy, will discuss “The Journey to Nonviolence & Peace.” Lafayette is a longtime civil rights activist and organizer who has been a minister, an educator and a lecturer. The talk will be in Social Science Plaza A, Room 1100 (bldg. 211, grid F9 on campus map).


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