Oakland Community College Community is celebrating the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., with a host of activities, including speakers, a call for volunteering and its annual convocation. All campuses are also serving birthday cake.
“We honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., whose voice rang the loudest in favor of peace, equality and freedom at the height of the civil rights movement,” OCC Chancellor Dr. Timothy Meyer, said in a news release. “His message endures years after his passing and for that we take a moment to honor him, give thanks and celebrate.”
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation is hosted by the College Committee for Diversity and Inclusion. It starts at 6 p.m. at the Smith Theatre, Orchard Ridge Campus, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills.
The convocation features Mark Fancher, Staff Attorney for the Racial Justice Project of American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, as guest speaker. His address is titled “Dr. King’s Revolution of Values.”
Through his work with the Racial Justice Project, Fancher addresses racially disproportionate rates of incarceration, racial discrimination against public school students of color, racial profiling, public defender system reform, attacks on affirmative action and juvenile sentencing issues. Fancher has lectured across the country and written extensively on issues including self-determination for Africa and the African Diaspora; indigenous peoples’ land and resource rights; and political repression in the United States.
Other Events this Week
In Royal Oak, Bishop Edgar L. Vann, Senior Pastor of Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit, will speak about “Civil Rights and the Role of the Church in the 21st Century.” His talk is 1-2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17, in D Building, Second Floor Theater on the Royal Oak campus, 739 South Washington.
Bishop Vann has served at the Second Ebenezer Church since 1976. For the past 37 years, he has been a preacher, teacher and civic leader of the community. Bishop Vann has had extensive community involvement, serving on several boards throughout the state of Michigan.
A few of his civic and community organizations have included: Mosaic Youth Theater, Wayne State University’s Research & Technology Park, The Skillman Foundation, Detroit Regional Chamber, Michigan Coalition of Human Rights, Detroit Institute of Arts, Henry Ford Health System, Commissioner for the Detroit Police Department, Habitat for Humanity, and the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. He is also an inductee in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
In Auburn Hills, the Student Action and Activities Alliance (SA3) is participating in the MLK Day Service Series with Americorps. Events include helping create safer routes to school for students near various Detroit schools around the city. During the service series, students will be boarding and cleaning more than 20 vacant homes in three Detroit neighborhoods. Registration and check in begins at 8:30 with kick off at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at 8898 Ashton, Detroit (Near Cody High School). To RSVP, call (313) 444-9508. OCC students and employees are encouraged to serve in their communities on Jan. 20 to honor Dr. King.DISCUSS: Who in Oakland County do you think most embodies the spirit of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.? Tell us why in the comments below.