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Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration set for Jan. 10 at UCR

Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration set for Jan. 10 at UCR

(January 4, 2001)

A candlelight vigil, African dancing, gospel singers and a keynote address by Riverside attorney Jack Clarke, Jr. will highlight a celebration of the life and accomplishments of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at the University of California, Riverside.

The annual event observing the birthday of the slain civil rights leader is co-sponsored by UCR African Student Programs, the Center for Ideas and Society, the Department of Ethnic Studies, the Pan African Theme Hall and the UCR African Student Alliance. The event is open to the public free of charge. Parking on campus is $3 per vehicle.

The celebration will begin with a 6 p.m. candlelight vigil at the Bell Tower, including a brief musical presentation by David Christensen on UCR's 48-bell carillon.

The event will continue at 6:30 p.m. in Watkins Recital Hall with a variety of performances and presentations. A rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by UCR students Francisca Pierce and Natasha Turner will be followed by an African dance tribute by We the People and a step performance by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Iota Chi Chapter.

Eric Johnson, a 10-year-old San Diego resident, will give an oratory from the famous "I Have a Dream" speech, and there will be tributes by students attending Riverside's Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, as well as students from the African Student Alliance and the organization In the Name of Christ.

A keynote address will be given by Clarke, a partner in the litigation department of the Riverside law firm Best, Best & Krieger LLP. Clarke is currently serving as the first African-American chairman of The Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.

The Rev. King, born on Jan. 15, 1929, was an eloquent Baptist minister who led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968. He was a key organizer for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the same year he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated April 4, 1968.

Maps and directions are available at the UCR Website at or at UCR information kiosks at the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive campus entrances. Visitors are asked to park in Lot 6. Cost is $3 per vehicle for the event. For information, call UCR African Student Programs at (909) 787-4576.

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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