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UCR to Host Celebration of The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

UCR to Host Celebration of The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

(January 9, 2002)

The University of California, Riverside will host a candlelight vigil and a variety of activities on Tuesday, Jan.15, celebrating the life of slain civil rights leader, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The event, which observes the birthday of the charismatic leader, will feature African dancing, gospel singing, poetry reading, student speakers from UCR, and a keynote address by educator and NAACP leader Waudier E. Rucker-Hughes. The celebration is free and open to the public.

The UCR African Student Programs is organizing the celebration titled “Building a Stronger Village,” which will begin with a 6 p.m. candlelight vigil at the UCR bell tower, including a brief musical presentation by David Christensen on the campus' 48-bell carillon.

The celebration will continue at 6:30 p.m. inside the Watkins 1000 Recital Hall with a musical rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” an African dance tribute by We The People. The event will include a tribute from students attending the new Martin Luther King, Jr. High School in Riverside, by UCR student leaders and a keynote address by Waudier E. Rucker-Hughes.

Rucker-Hughes, an assistant principal at the Educational Options Center for the Riverside Unified School District, is also the president of the Riverside branch of the NAACP.

Reverend King was an eloquent Baptist minister who led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. He was a key organizer for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the same year he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

A number of UCR groups sponsor the celebration, including African Student Programs, the Center for Ideas and Society, the Department of Ethnic Studies, African Americans United in Science, African Student Alliance, For Sisters Only and the National Society of Black Engineers. More information can be obtained by calling African Student Programs at (909) 787-4576.

Maps and directions to the event are available at UCR information kiosks at the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive campus entrances, or on the campus web site Visitor parking costs $3 per vehicle.

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The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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