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OWU Graduate Delivers Keynote Speech for Local Martin Luther King Jr. Events


January 15, 2004

[ Mary King Photo ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- Keynoting the 11th Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfast Celebration on Monday, Jan. 19, is Dr. Mary King, a 1962 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and an internationally acclaimed civil rights activist. King is currently professor of peace and conflict studies at the University of Peace in Costa Rica and she is also Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University, England.

During the Carter Administration, King became Deputy Director of ACTION, the agency which housed five volunteer programs including VISTA and PEACE CORPS. She is an award-winning author of several books including Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Power of Nonviolent Action, for which she received the Jamalal Bajaj Foundation International Award.

The theme for this year's breakfast celebration is "The Power of Nonviolence," with the program beginning at 8 a.m. in the Benes Room of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center at OWU. The breakfast is sponsored by the OWU Sociology and Anthropology Departments, the OWU Provost's Office, Black Men of the Future and SUBA (Student Union on Black Awareness). King will also deliver the Butler Jones Race and Society Annual Lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 in the HWCC Benes Room.

On the preceding afternoon (Sunday, Jan. 18), Rev. Dr. Robert Graetz will be the keynote speaker at the 19th Annual Martin Luther King Worship Service at 3 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church. The title of his sermon is "Behold the Dreamer." Following his graduation from the Trinity Lutheran Seminary in 1955, Graetz accepted a call to become the pastor of the all-black American Lutheran Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Graetz's neighbor and the adult advisor to the NAACP Youth Council in his church was Rosa Parks. Parks was arrested for refusing to take a seat in the back of a bus, an event which sparked the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott.

In his book, A White Preacher's Memoir, Graetz gives a vivid account of the people involved with and events of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Lewis Baldwin, a member of Princeton University's Divinity School faculty, calls Graetz's book "one of the best accounts of the Montgomery Bus Boycott on record."

For more information about the King breakfast or the afternoon service, contact Dr. Theresa Byrd, Director of Libraries at OWU, at 740-368-3246.