University News

GBBC to Host Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Jan. 25

January 12, 2018

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MACOMB, IL – The Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center at Western Illinois University will present its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25 in the Horrabin Hall theater.

This year's celebration is themed, "'It is Our Business to be Bothered': Testimony and Witness at the Doorsteps of Activism."

The keynote address will be delivered by Gettysburg College Assistant Professor of English McKinley E. Melton, who has also been a visiting assistant professor of literature at Hampshire College. Melton was the 2015 recipient of a Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and was a 2015-16 postdoctoral fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University.

In addition to the Jan. 25 celebration, the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center will host American poet, writer, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5 in the University Union Grand Ballroom as the keynote address of the University's Black History Month celebration.

She has been a part of Virginia Tech's faculty since 1987, and was named a University Distinguished Professor. Giovanni has received hundreds of awards for her writing, activism and performance in the academic world, including seven NAACP awards and four "Woman of the Year" awards from Ebony magazine, the Ladies Home Journal and others.
The WIU Black History Month presentation is open free to the public.

For more information about either presentation, contact the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center at (309) 298-2220 or email

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