Ball State to celebrate Unity Week with inaugural flair

Topics: Student Affairs, Speakers

January 14, 2009

Johnnetta Cole, known for her role as the first African-American female president of Spelman College, will speak Jan. 21 at Ball State University as part of the campus' Martin Luther King Jr. observances.

Cole will deliver her address, "From Dr. Martin Luther King to President Barack Obama: A Dream Realized?" at 7 p.m. in Pruis Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Cole served as president of Spelman College from 1987 to 1997. During her time there, the college's freshman class had the highest SAT averages of any historically black college or university in the country and was rated in 1996 by Money magazine as the number one historically black college in the nation.

Cole later served as president of Bennett College, where she founded the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute.

To kick off Unity Week events, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Concert features "Music of the Civil Rights Era" at 7 p.m. Jan. 15 in Sursa Hall.

Unity Week events continue Jan. 19 with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast at 7 a.m. in the Alumni Center. The event is free and open to the public. A candlelight civil rights march that day will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Muncie City Hall, 300 N. High St., and conclude with a 7 p.m. ecumenical service at Christ Temple Church, 654 N. Jefferson St.

Other Unity Week events include:

  • Monday, Jan. 19 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, from noon to 3 p.m. Those interested should meet in the Pittenger Student Center, Room 118.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 20 — Presidential inauguration watch celebration, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student Center Cardinal Hall, and inauguration panel discussion, 7 p.m., Pruis Hall.
  • Thursday, Jan. 22 — Human Race Machine, all-day events at the Atrium of the Arts and Journalism Building.
  • Friday, Jan. 23 — Diversity Dance Revolution from 7 to 10 p.m., Irving Gymnasium.
  • Saturday, Jan. 24 — The Unity Pageant will crown a Miss and Mr. Unity starting at 3 p.m. in Pruis Hall.

All events are free and open to the public with the exception of the pageant. Tickets cost $3 in advance and $5 at the door.

Unity Week events are sponsored by Black Student Association, Asian American Student Association, Latino Student Union, Spectrum, Housing and Residence Life, Office of Institutional Diversity, the Multicultural Center and Student Life and Student Affairs.

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