Annual program includes Isabel Wilkerson visit and <em>The Mountaintop</em> reading
Friday, December 14, 2012

An annual University of Iowa celebration honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and addressing contemporary human rights issues will be held Jan. 21-31.

This year's MLK Celebration of Human Rights will feature a talk by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson and a reading of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, which imagines King's last night. Other events include a unity walk and tribute to King on the Pentacrest, a "Rights-a-Palooza" cultural fair, and a Community of Color reception.

Check for the latest information on the full range of activities. The celebration's main events include:

Unity March and "Time to Remember," 3:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 21, Pentacrest area and Old Capitol Museum: Marchers will gather at the east entrance of the Old Capitol. After the walk, a "Time to Remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." will be held in the Old Capitol Senate Chambers. A reception follows in the Old Capitol Museum.

Rights-A-Palooza, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 23, Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge: This "do-fair" offers participants the chance to learn dances, play games, and make crafts—not to mention enjoy an ice cream sundae and a jazz trio.

Isabel Wilkerson lecture, noon-1 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 23, Prem Sahai Auditorium (1110) Medical Education and Research Facility: UI Health Care's annual MLK lecture features the Pulitzer Prize-wining author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration. More information about Wilkerson on her website.

The Mountaintop, 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26, E.C. Mabie Theatre: Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, this Department of Theatre Arts Darwin Turner Action Theatre reading of Katori Hall's play imagines a conversation between King and a hotel maid during his last night alive at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, just after the civil rights leader delivered his famed "Mountaintop" speech.

The play won a British Olivier Award and drew Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett to star in a Broadway version. Tlaloc Rivas, UI assistant professor of directing in the Department of Theatre Arts, arranged the local reading with the playwright and is directing the production.

Following the play, UI faculty will participate in an interdisciplinary panel discussion.