Civil rights activist C.T. Vivian highlights Goshen College’s 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day Jan. 19

GOSHEN, Ind. — Goshen College will honor the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. by holding its 11th annual all-school Study Day, emphasizing the values and ideals that characterized King’s work. On Monday, Jan. 19, the college welcomes Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, a distinguished veteran of the civil rights movement and close associate of Martin Luther King Jr.

In the 2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Day keynote address at 10 a.m. in the Church-Chapel, Vivian will speak on “Martin Luther King: Prophet of Our Time,” and also will lead an afternoon workshop. Performing during the convocation will be Goshen CollegeÕs Voices ‘n Harmony Choir. The community is invited to attend the convocation free of charge.

As a close associate of Martin Luther King Jr. and a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference executive staff, Vivian worked for productive, nonviolent change in many settings. He played central roles in the civil rights movement in Nashville, Tenn.; Albany, Ga.; Birmingham and Selma, Ala.; and St. Augustine, Fla. He also negotiated the 1968 Chicago gang truce and successfully worked against racism in northern labor unions. Vivian also served as dean at Shaw Divinity School in 1972, director of the Urban Training Center for Christian Mission, editor for the National Baptist Convention, as well as founder of the Center for Democratic Renewal, a national anti-racist-violence network. He is the author of the 1969 book, “Black Power and the American Myth.”

Vivian has worked extensively with government agencies and private sector enterprises, especially as founder and president for 24 years of BASIC, a workplace consultancy on race relations and multicultural training. In the 1990s he was one of the founders of Capital City Bank, the major black-owned bank in Atlanta.

Vivian will also speak at 7:30 a.m. during the Community Prayer Breakfast in the Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall. Advance reservations are required for this event; contact the Goshen College Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566.

Goshen College Associate Professor of History Steve Nolt, chair of the college’s Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day Committee, said, “Dr. Vivian’s life is testimony to the power of nonviolence to bring change that moves us all closer to the ‘beloved community’ that Martin Luther King Jr. advocated. His convictions and actions are deeply rooted in his Christian faith, and in the church community. His life is also a testimony to the fact the movement did not end in the late 1960s. Dr. Vivian has continued working for justice and reconciliation in the marketplace, the business world, the factory floor and the local neighborhood. He is not about reminiscing or reliving the past, but about drawing on that tradition and continuing it today.”

Afternoon workshops on campus will focus on translating the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr. into practice. A special two-hour nonviolence training session, from 1 to 3 p.m. will be taught by Dr. Vivian. Other workshop presenters will include the Damascus Road Anti-Racism staff, Christian Peacemaker Team staff and others.

The complete Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day schedule follows:

7:30 a.m. — Community Prayer Breakfast, Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall; sponsored by Goshen College, Goshen Health System, Goshen Chamber of Commerce and Goshen Ministerial Association.

  • Speaker — Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, a veteran of the civil rights movement and close associate of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Music — Goshen College Voices ‘n Harmony

9 a.m. — Opening film: “Eyes on the Prize,” Umble Center

  • Video documenting the civil rights struggle, including footage of Dr. Vivian.

10 a.m. — Study Day Convocation, Church-Chapel

  • “Martin Luther King: Prophet of Our Time” by Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, a veteran of the civil rights movement who continues to be in great demand as a speaker, teacher and preacher.
  • Music by Goshen College Voices ‘n Harmony.

1-3 p.m. — Special two-hour workshops in the Church-Chapel classrooms

  • Nonviolence training with Dr. Vivian.
  • Damascus Road Anti-Racism mini-training.

1-2 p.m. — Workshop I in the Church-Chapel classrooms

  • Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams, Janet Shoemaker and Rich Meyer, will offer witness of nonviolent change today from their experiences.
  • Dialogue on domestic violence and prevention, led by a student.

2-3 p.m. — Workshop II in the Church-Chapel classrooms

  • Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams, Janet Shoemaker and Rich Meyer, will offer witness of nonviolent change today from their experiences.

7 p.m. — Martin Luther King Day Community Celebration, St. James AME Church, 122 Dr. King Drive, Elkhart, Ind.

Martin Luther King Jr. Study Day is sponsored in part by Plowshares. For more information about the study day, call the Multicultural Education Office at (574) 535-7548. The Church-Chapel and Umble Center are accessible to people using wheelchairs and others with physical limitations.

Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values — passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership — prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, Kaplan’s “Most Interesting Colleges” guide and U.S.News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit www.goshen.edu.

Editors: Reporters and photographers are welcome at all of the study day’s events. For more information, contact Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or jodihb@goshen.edu.

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