Yomalis Rosario / The Dartmouth Senior Staff
All of the planned festivities, which end on Feb. 1, fall under the theme "The Art of Non-Conformity: Making the World Better," and aim to reflect both the Year of the Arts and the College's 40th year of coeducation, according to Gabrielle Lucke, chairperson of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration committee.
"Our theme looks at the art of non-conformity, and we tried to find artists and speakers who really try to push things," she said. "Hats off to the early women here at Dartmouth because clearly they were practicing the art of non-conformity," Lucke said.
The College selected Katori Hall a black female playwright as this year's keynote speaker. Hall wrote the critically acclaimed play "The Mountaintop," which starred Samuel L. Jackson as Martin Luther King Jr. in its Broadway run. Hall will speak in Moore Theater at 7 P.M. on Jan. 21.
Although celebrations officially start on Thursday, several exhibitions have already begun across campus.
Baker-Berry Library is currently displaying posters by Amos Kennedy, a black letterpress printer who incorporates race, freedom and equality into his work. Kennedy will give a series of workshops when he visits the College Jan. 28 through Jan. 30.
Roy Wade Med'06 will give the weekend's first lecture at the Geisel School of Medicine on Thursday. He will discuss his policy work relating to poverty medicine and trauma and their long-term effects on children of color.
On Friday, contemporary Australian theater group Back to Back Theatre will perform "Ganesh Versus the Third Reich" in the Hopkins Center. The play tells the story of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh and his attempt to recover the swastika from Nazi Germany.
On Monday, students can listen to a recording of a speech that King made at the College in May 1962, when he visited the College as part of the year's Great Issues course.
The speech was recorded and is presented with a civil rights multimedia production, which loops every hour.
Elise Smith '13, a celebration committee intern, said she highly recommends that students listen to the recording.
"It is such a moving speech," she said. "All Dartmouth students should take advantage of being able to sit in the room in which he spoke, listening to the speech he delivered many years ago. My roommate and I went our freshmen year and ended up sitting through several readings of the speech. We were both moved to tears."
On Monday, the Student Forum on Global Learning will address students' views on global issues and multiculturalism.
"It's a great opportunity," Lucke said. "Students have the chance to see what other students are doing around the world. It's also great for first-year students, because it can really inform them of what the potential is for them to achieve over the next four years."
Students who wish to perform community service on Monday can make quilts for Lutheran World Relief.
On Monday evening, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity will host a candlelight vigil procession to pay homage to the civil rights movement at Cutter-Shabazz Hall.
Dartmouth students have been active in both organizing and producing the program events.
The Hop will feature "LIFTED: One Act Plays by Students in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr." in the Bentley Theater on Jan. 25. LIFTED is an annual performance showcase in which "various performance groups come together with a focus on social justice," Smith said. This year's performances include three plays written, performed and directed by Dartmouth students, she said.
Andrew Kim '16 said he appreciates the College's effort in organizing events to celebrate the occasion.
"Martin Luther King Day is a big day in my community in Atlanta," he said. "Though the African-American community is small compared to the one back home, I'm really glad that they are celebrating it here too. It would definitely spread more awareness."
Stephanie Emenyonu '16 said that while she was unsure about the strength of the black community on campus before arriving at Dartmouth, she has since discovered it has a visible presence.
"The fact that Dartmouth is willing to celebrate such a historic and inspirational figure to the Black community demonstrates that Dartmouth respects the African-American community and the culture it has," she said.
Alex Lessard '14, who works at the Hop, said that tickets for the upcoming events are in high demand.