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'Dare to Imagine a Better World' is the theme for 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

January 08, 2009

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Kelly Homan Rodoski

The Syracuse University and greater Syracuse communities will come together in the Carrier Dome on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 18, for the 24th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. This year's celebration, "Dare to Imagine a Better World," will feature a keynote address by Eddie S. Glaude Jr., a professor and scholar of religion and African American studies at Princeton University and senior fellow at The Jamestown Project; performances by SU's Black Celestial Choral Ensemble and a Syracuse community choir; verbal poetry; and the presentation of the 2009 Unsung Heroes Awards.

This year's award recipients are Keith Alford, professor of social work in SU's College of Human Ecology; Collin Capano, a graduate student in the physics department in The College of Arts and Sciences; Ronald Denby, assistant dean for information technology in SU's College of Law; and Helen Hudson, co-founder of the Syracuse community group Mothers Against Gun Violence.

The day's events begin at noon with a Community Celebration at Tucker Missionary Baptist Church, 515 Oakwood Ave. in Syracuse, sponsored by the Syracuse Inner City Rotary Club and SU. The event will feature remarks by Glaude and a performance by the Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School Choir.

The evening celebration will be preceded by a "Conversation with Eddie S. Glaude Jr." at 3 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium. There, Glaude will discuss his book, "In A Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America" (University of Chicago Press, 2007).

Both the community event and the discussion are free and open to the public.

The evening program begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Tickets for the dinner, which precedes the program at 5:30 p.m., are $25 for the general public and $13.75 for students without meal plans. Students with meal plans will be charged for one dinner. For ticket information, call Hendricks Chapel at (315) 443- 5044.

Glaude is the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University. He is also a senior fellow at The Jamestown Project, a diverse, action-oriented think tank of new leaders who reach across boundaries and generations to make democracy real.

Prior to his appointment at Princeton, Glaude taught African American studies and religion at Bowdoin College and Amherst College. He received his bachelor's degree from Morehouse College and his master's degree and Ph.D. from Princeton.

Glaude is the author of "Exodus! Religion, Race and the Nation in Early 19th Century Black America" (University of Chicago Press, 2000). The book received the Modern Language Association's William Sanders Scarborough Book Prize for outstanding scholarly study of black cultural life and/or literature. Glaude is also editor of "Is It Nation Time? Contemporary Essays on Black Power and Black Nationalism" (University of Chicago Press, 2002). This edited collection has been described as a "standard reference for students and scholars of African American intellectual history."

He has also co-edited, with Cornel West, "African American Religious Thought: An Anthology" (Westminister John Knox Press, 2004), a text widely viewed as one of the most important books published in African American religion in the last five years.

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