AUSTIN, Texas —Ceremonies on Thursday and Friday (Sept. 21 and 22) will commemorate the first anniversary of the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue at The University of Texas at Austin campus. The 12-foot-tall statue on the East Mall was unveiled Sept. 24, 1999.
On Thursday (Sept. 21) at 6:45 p.m., the UT Austin School of Social Work will hold a ceremony at the statue as part of its yearlong Jubilee 2000 celebration of its founding 50 years ago. Herman L. Lessard Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Austin Urban League, will deliver brief remarks at the ceremony.
The statue ceremony will be followed by a public lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the nearby Bates Recital Hall, presented by Chicago attorney Thomas N. Todd. He has been described as a civil rights expert, leader in affirmative action, educator, lecturer and writer. His topic is, Affirmative Action: Knowing the Past to Understand the Present and Prepare for the Future.
On Friday (Sept. 22), from 7-9 p.m., the Multicultural Information Center will hold a commemorative ceremony with the featured speaker, Dr. P. Eric Abercrumbie, talking on the topic, Does Freedom Really Ring? Abercrumbie is director of ethnic programs and services as well as the African American Culture and Research Center at the University of Cincinnati. He also is president of John D. Bryant National Think Tank for Black Professionals in Higher Education.
Brenda Burt, director of the Multicultural Information Center, said the event also will feature music, poetry and gospel songs. “This celebration will honor the legacy of Dr. King and provide an opportunity for reflection on our past and turn our focus on the future. We request the presence of the UT and Austin community to join us at the statue site of Dr. King,” said Burt.
For additional information about the Friday ceremony, contact Burt or Yvonne Fuentes at (512) 232-2958.
For more information regarding the Thursday activities and the School of Social Work Jubilee 2000 events, contact Hollee Ganner, (512) 471-9824.
The statue commemoration on Thursday is co-sponsored by the Austin Area Urban League, the School of Social Work Diversity Institute, the Center for African and African American Studies, Huston-Tillotson College, the Institute of Latin American Studies, the Center for Women’s Studies, the Center for Asian Studies, the Multicultural Information Center, the UT Austin School of Law and the Office of the Vice President for Community and School Relations.