North Central College to host panel talk, community forum Jan. 21 on race relations

Jan 14, 2015

North Central College will host a panel discussion and community forum on race relations Jan. 21 during the College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week.

The public is invited to “Beyond Ferguson: Race, Class, and the Journey to Justice” at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Centennial Hall at the Harold and Eva White Activities Center, 325 E. Benton Ave. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

The panel discussion will feature radio host and civic activist April Yvonne Garrett, Freedom Rider Thomas Armstrong, professor of political science Stephen Maynard Caliendo, assistant professor of sociology Ericka Adams, former North Central College English professor Kim Brown, transfer admission counselor and class of 1992 alumnus Brian Johnson and student John Arrington ’16.

“The addition of a panel discussion to our Martin Luther King Jr. Week events this year creates an opportunity to show students how community members who may have different viewpoints can come together and have meaningful dialogue,” says Dorothy Pleas, the College’s director of multicultural affairs. “We also hope the panel discussion helps students understand the historical context of these recent incidents and current viewpoints about the struggle for racial equality.”

Garrett, a Baltimore native, is founder and president of Civic Frame, a nonprofit organization that uses art and intellectual work to encourage civic participation, media literacy and critical thinking. Brown is founder and executive editor of Roswell, Ga.-based Minerva Rising Literary Journal.

Additional Martin Luther King Jr. Week events at North Central College include a keynote address by Dr. Cornel West on Jan. 23, a prayer breakfast on Jan. 19, a sold-out Chicago Sinfonietta performance Jan. 18, and a Gospel Extravaganza Jan. 24.

Sponsors of Martin Luther King Jr. Week events at North Central College include the Student Governing Association, Cultural Events and the offices of Residence Life, Ministry and Service and Multicultural Affairs. Nicor Gas is an underwriting sponsor of Martin Luther King Jr. Week and Black History Month at North Central College.