Today, many civil rights-related accomplishments of previous generations have come under fire, notes Tyler Edwards, organizer of “A Tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Art Expression & Poetry Slam,” from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 20 in Stamps Auditorium in the Walgreen Drama Center.
“Systematic attacks on affirmative action policies, deteriorating family structures, and widening social stratification are all slowly eroding the moral fiber of our communities,” says the Louisville, Ky., mechanical engineering senior.
He is chair of the live performance event, hosted by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.-Epsilon Chapter, in collaboration with MSlam Poetry.
“As ambassadors of the black community, we deem it necessary to initiate a revival of sorts in order to recapture Dr. King’s dream,” Edwards says.
The event will showcase poetic works by local poets, performers and artists.
Students, faculty and members of the community who take part are asked to incorporate their interpretation of King’s vision into their performances. Organizers say goals of the event are to expose students to King’s legacy and stir them to action, and to strengthen the community, empower individuals, and bridge racial barriers.
“These ideas of unity, purpose, and the great things that can happen when we work together toward a common goal are just some of the many reasons we honor Dr. King through service on this special holiday,” Edwards says.