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January 25, 1999

Convocation, panel discussion part of Martin Luther King Jr. celebration

Author and commentator Michael Eric Dyson will participate in two campus events

By Francine Tyler

Michael Eric Dyson will participate in a panel discussion for the UCSC community on Wednesday, January 27, prior to playing a role as keynote speaker at the 15th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Convocation on Thursday, January 28.

Michael Eric Dyson

Dyson, who has been called a "hip-hop intellectual" and a "street fighter in a suit and tie," is also a noted author, commentator, professor, and ordained Baptist minister. Described as "one of the youngest stars in the firmament of black intellectuals" by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Dyson, 39, is known for his commitment to urban youth and passion for popular culture. The title of his keynote speech is "Bridging the Generation Gap: Creating Conversation for Civil Rights."

Prior to the convocation, Dyson will participate in a discussion panel with UCSC faculty and students. The event takes place on Wednesday, January 27, at 7 p.m. at the UCSC Performing Arts Mainstage Theater and is closed to the public. Members of the campus community may suggest topics for discussion by contacting the University Events Office at trink@cats.ucsc.edu or (831) 459-2941.

This panel discussion is free but tickets will be required for admission, available from the UCSC Ticket Office beginning at 9 a.m. on January 27, the morning of the event. Those obtaining tickets will be asked to present their UCSC student or employee identification, and there is a two-ticket per person limit. It is recommended that people visit the Ticket Office to obtain tickets, but for those unable to do so, a limited number of tickets will be available via phone by calling the Ticket Office at 459-2159 beginning at 9 a.m.

The annual convocation will take place the day after the panel discussion, at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz. It begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. A free public reception, with refreshments, will immediately follow the convocation at the Civic Auditorium.

Sponsored by UCSC, the convocation celebrates the life and the vision of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with music, welcoming speeches, and a keynote address by a prominent figure. The convocation is intended to build partnerships, create connections, and develop dialogue within the on- and off-campus communities.

At the January 28 convocation, Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood will deliver the welcoming address, anthropology professor Carolyn Martin Shaw will act as master of ceremonies, and sociology professor John Brown Childs will introduce Dyson. Music will be provided by the UCSC African American Theater Arts Troupe and by Voices of the Bible Way Choir of the Bible Way Christian Center in San Jose. Cabrillo College faculty member Ekua Omosupe will read poetry.

Those traveling to the event from campus are invited to ride three shuttles, available on a first-come, first-served basis, that will run at 6:15 p.m., 6:25 p.m., and 6:30 p.m., stopping at each campus Metro stop.

In addition to UCSC, the convocation is sponsored by the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, KUSP 88.9 FM, and the Santa Cruz County Sentinel. For more information, access the convocation Web site. For disability related needs, contact the University Events Office at (831) 459-2826 or e-mail hilker@cats.ucsc.edu.

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