Bakari Kitwana, Author of Best-seller “The Hip Hop Generation” to Speak at GRCC MLK Day Celebration

Bakari Kitwana, best-selling author and Senior Media Fellow at the Harvard Law-based think tank, The Jamestown Project, will speak Monday, January 16, at the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Grand Rapids Community College’s Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.  The evening program runs from 6:30-8:30PM. This year’s event is co-sponsored by Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University and Davenport University.

Kitwana’s keynote address will be followed by community performances and presentations, including a special appearance by renowned gospel artist Dr. Marvin Sapp, founder and Senior Pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church.

 Kitwana, also a political analyst whose commentary on politics and youth culture has been seen on CNN, C-Span, PBS’ The Tavis Smiley Show and heard on NPR, has published a new book, Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era, described as a call to action for young political organizers.

 There is also a Sunday, January 15 evening program, which begins at 6:00 PM at New Hope Baptist Church, 130 Delaware St. SW, which features a community-wide Adult and Youth Choir, with participants from GRCC and GVSU choirs as well as various churches and schools throughout the community. The choir will also perform at the Monday night presentation at GRCC’s Ford Fieldhouse.

A highlight at this annual event is the presentation of scholarships to students from GRCC, DU and GVSU.

The complete list of the MLK events follows:

Monday, January 16

GRCC MLK Community Peace March
Grand Rapids Community College
Marchers assemble at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse 

GRCC Community Peace Program
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Featuring performances by GRCC and KISD students
GRCC Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse             

GVSU MLK Silent March
Allendale Campus
Marchers assemble at Zumberge Library entrance 

GVSU MLK Program
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Allendale Campus Kirkhof Center Grand River Room
featuring Bakari Kitwana 

Davenport MLK Silent March & Community Program
1:00 p.m.
Davenport University
Lettinga Campus, Sneden Auditorium 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Renewal Celebration
4:30 p.m.,
Downtown Center,
45 Ottawa St. NW

26th Annual Commemoration Program
Sponsored by GRCC, GVSU, DU
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
GRCC Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse             

Tuesday, January 17

Civil Rights in Post-Racial Times
10:00 a.m.
Davenport University
Lettinga Campus, Sneden Auditorium

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.