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Taylor's MLK Celebration Includes Music, Speakers, Workshops

Published: Jan 16, 2013

Image by © Flip Schulke/CORBIS

Taylor University’s daylong observation of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday is set for Monday, January 21, and will feature guest speakers, music, dance and workshops. Classes are suspended during the day so students, faculty and staff may participate together in a day of common learning and fellowship.

The day begins with chapel at 10:00 a.m., in the Rediger Chapel/Auditorium and continues with a series of workshops during the afternoon. The day concludes with an evening concert featuring the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra and Faith in Motion, a faith-based dance studio from Marion.

The featured chapel speaker is Robert Gelinas, the lead pastor of Colorado Community Church in Denver, Colo., and founder of Project 127 – a ministry to children waiting for homes in Colorado's foster care system. Gelinas will also conduct two workshops during the afternoon schedule.

The afternoon workshops are designed as smaller sessions to allow for discussion and feedback. The topics covered range from African-American spirituals and the legacy of Emmitt Till to jazz music.

“We hope that MLK Day will not just be a day to rest and take a day off, but a day of reflection,” said Cecilia Macias, Taylor’s Director of Intercultural Programs. “We desire for our community to come together and celebrate a movement that looks different in today’s society, but is still prevalent. We desire for our campus to engage in conversations that might be challenging but very much needed. We desire for our campus to realize the beauty of racial reconciliation, the impact of global engagement, and the splendor of God’s creation in every person – even in the midst of difference.”

The public is invited. All events are free.

1:30-2:30 - Workshops #1

Every Time I Feel the Spirit: African-American Spirituals and the Journey Toward Freedom, Recital Hall

Brent Maher and Carole Heller

African-American spirituals are a powerful testament to the brutal oppression of slavery, the journey toward equality, and faith tested by pain and suffering. This program will utilize live performances, corporate singing, and an exploration of the songs’ origins and implications to better understand the relationship between music and social change.

A Wreath for Emmitt Till, Euler 130

Daniel Bowman Jr.  

In this workshop, we will examine and discuss Emmitt Till's life and the details surrounding his death, including the trial in which the perpetrators were acquitted by an all-white jury. The court case gripped the nation, and has been called "the first great media event of the civil rights movement."

Racial Reconciliation as a Result of Spiritual Reconciliation: How the Bible Views Race, Reconciliation, and Relationship, Euler 118

Erick Solomon

Before we can talk about racial reconciliation amongst Christians we must understand our spiritual reconciliation. Our ultimate identity is in Christ. However, everyone’s identity works itself out differently because of their culture, everyone’s identity. These understandings allow us to engage one another in truth and love as people, not projects. This workshop will connect the Biblical mandate of racial reconciliation to practical steps one can take towards fulfilling that mandate.

Being White in a White World: What’s the Role of the White People in Today’s Society?, MMVA 002

Drew Moser

This interactive workshop will help participants process through White racial identity and will address issues such as: Whites and “the benefit of the doubt”, the responsibility of White Christians in the issue of racism, microagressions, how to be an “ally”, etc.

Composing Faith: How Jazz Can Help You Find Your Groove with God, Ayres 215

Robert Gelinas

What might a 'jazz-shaped faith' look like, and how could it help us fulfill the message of the gospel in a way no method, movement, or structured program ever could? How can understanding the beauty of jazz help you better understand Jesus, his vision for those who follow him, and his heartbeat for a world that is badly out of sync? This workshop is not about music. It is about a passionate, biblical, fully integrated way of looking at life and salvation that will free you to find your own unique groove in the kingdom of God.

Documentary: Color of Fear, Euler 109

Anila Karunakar, Faye Chechowich

Faculty and Staff only

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Workshops #2

The Power of Story: Global Myths on the Origins and Character of Black People, MMVA 005

Mary N. Muchiri

This book investigates the origins of racism against black people that has been entrenched in political, religious and scientific myths. It further demonstrates how these myths have had an ongoing effect until today through the educational and economic systems. It concludes by discussing how each individual can expose these deceptive myths.

God’s Heart for the Immigration Debate, Euler 130

Cecilia Macias

This interactive workshop will address immigration issues in several ways: God’s heart for immigrants, stories of immigrants, and why this is an important issue for the Christian community.

Racial Reconciliation as a Result of Spiritual Reconciliation: How the Bible Views Race, Reconciliation, and Relationship, Euler 118

Erick Solomon

Before we can talk about racial reconciliation amongst Christians we must understand our spiritual reconciliation. Our ultimate identity is in Christ. However, everyone’s identity works itself out differently because of their culture, everyone’s identity. These understandings allow us to engage one another in truth and love as people, not projects. This workshop will connect Biblical mandate of racial reconciliation with practical steps to take towards fulfilling that mandate.

Being White in a White World: What’s the Role of the White People in Today’s Society?,  MMVA 002

Drew Moser

Equaliberty: America’s Last Race Problem, Recital Hall

Wes Rediger

What is America's last race problem?  What can one person do today in 2013 to resolve it? Dr. Wesley Rediger, Corporate Coach, and Rev. Larry Emmons, Greater Second Baptist Church, answer these questions in the context of America's greatest speeches and the nation's leaders who gave them. Along with seventy powerful photographs they bring King's "I Have a Dream" and Lincoln's, "Gettysburg Address" and other original statements to dramatic life to make their case. 

Composing Faith: How Jazz Can Help You Find Your Groove with God, Ayres 215

Robert Gelinas

7:00 p.m., Rediger Chapel/Auditorium Concert featuring Faith in Motion and the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra. Free concert sponsored by Taylor University

The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra (IJO) is Indiana’s premier professional repertory big band jazz ensemble and is dedicated to serving the Indianapolis community and the entire state at large. Composed of leading professional jazz musicians and vocalists from Central Indiana, the IJO was created to preserve and advance the dynamic history of the big band. Patterned after many popular bands, both past and present, the IJO is committed to performing world-class musical arrangements based on classic tunes from the Great American Songbook. In addition to performing the best of the big band repertoire, the IJO also features outstanding new arrangements as well as original compositions.

Faith in Motion, Grant County's only faith-based dance studio, will be showcasing a few routines from their upcoming May Recital. Faith in Motion (FIM) is located at 518 West 41st Street in Marion. FIM offers instruction in the dance techniques of Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Divine, Hip Jazzy Hop & Ballroom Basics. Their students range in ages from 3 thru Adults. They also have a fitness program consisting of Zumba, Zumba Toning, Zumbatomic, Yoga, and Boot camp. There is also an in-house Personal Fitness Trainer for one-on-one workouts. They believe that the time is now to take dance back for the Kingdom of God and Faith in Motion is your faith-based choice for dance & fitness!

MLK Day is sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Programs (OIP) at Taylor University. Please contact Cecilia Macias ccmacias@taylor.edu for more information.