Penn Launches Commemorative Symposium on Social Change Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | | 215-898-4820January 6, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — The University of Pennsylvania will remember Martin Luther King Jr. with the Commemorative Symposium on Social Change, a series of community events that runs from Jan. 13 through Feb. 2.

All MLK Symposium events are free and open to the public.  They include workshops, discussions, panels, lectures, performances, special presentations, award ceremonies, interfaith programs and documentary-film screenings.

 “The annual MLK symposium has expanded to include a wider focus on social justice overall, as well as issues based in equality,” Robert Carter, associate director at Penn’s African-American Resource Center and executive co-chair for the Commemorative Symposium Planning Committee, said. “We’re addressing the social issues that face our nation – everything from the Occupy movement and how it relates to the civil rights movement, helping single mothers, educational choice and employment discrimination against formerly convicted persons, to how young black men today can learn from older men and ending homelessness in America.”

The centerpiece of the annual MLK Symposium at Penn is the Day of Service activities, Monday, Jan. 16, which begins with a breakfast for volunteers at 8:30 a.m. in Houston Hall.  Participants will be involved with a variety of community service projects until 2 p.m.  The Day of Service will end with a candlelight vigil procession beginning at 7 p.m. from the W.E.B. DuBois College House at 39th and Walnut streets to remember Martin Luther King Jr.

Other key events during the MLK Symposium include the 11th annual MLK Lecture in Social Justice featuring Donna Brazile, the first African-American woman to manage a presidential campaign and veteran Democratic political strategist; the Interfaith Program and Awards Commemoration with guest speaker Eboo Patel, the founder of Interfaith Youth Core; and “Jazz for King,” an evening of entertainment featuring jazz music and poetry readings.

A listing of events is available at