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Jan. 13, 2006

First 'One Community' Award will be presented during King events

by Anne Krapfl

The life and accomplishments of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated during campus and city events this month. And the university's first Martin Luther King Jr. Advancing One Community Award will be presented at a Jan. 19 birthday party.

King was born 77 years ago on Jan. 15 in Atlanta. He was assassinated in April 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., when he was just 39 years old.

Roland Fryer, a black assistant professor of economics at Harvard University who also is in the last year of a research fellowship with Harvard's Society of Fellows, will give the keynote address at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. His talk is titled, "Toward a Unified Theory of Black America." While his expertise is in economics, he consults with other scientists -- in sociology, behavioral genetics, psychology -- to try to get at, as he puts it, "where blacks went wrong." Fryer points to a variety of data -- out-of-wedlock births, infant mortality rates, life expectancy, SAT scores, household income -- in which blacks don't fare as well as whites.

Fryer also has researched, through the eyes of an economist, the phenomenon of "acting white" (black teens ridiculed by their peers for displaying "white" behaviors), affirmative action and the social costs of crack cocaine use among blacks.

Prior to his visit, a panel of university and state experts will discuss some of Fryer's controversial research at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, also in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Scheduled panelists include Ralph Rosenberg, Iowa Civil Rights Commission; Carla Espinoza, ISU Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity; and Cornelia Flora, ISU sociology and North Central Regional Center for Rural Development.

Parties and awards

The King observance also will include two parties of sorts. The first, an Ames-area community celebration, begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the Boys and Girls Club of Ames, 210 S. Fifth St. The evening will include songs, stories and birthday cake.

A second celebration begins at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. It, too, will include singing (led by Shy of a Dozen and the Gospel Soul Innovators), birthday cake and several speakers.

In addition, Carlie Tartakov, retired faculty member from curriculum and instruction who currently has a lecturer post with the department, and the Ames/ISU YWCA will receive the first Martin Luther King Jr. Advancing One Community Award. President Gregory Geoffroy will present. The award (one for an individual and one for a group) includes a $500 stipend and honors a demonstrated commitment to the principles, goals and non-violent strategy of King. Specifically, the award recognizes:

  • Demonstrated commitment to improving the campus climate for underrepresented groups.
  • Research, teaching or program development that has promoted social justice on campus.

Faculty, students and staff, and any group or organization on campus can be nominated for the annual award. Recipients are selected by the membership of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Planning Committee.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Jan. 16-31


Monday, January 16

  • 7 p.m., Community celebration, birthday cake, free, Boys and Girls Club of Ames, 210 S. Fifth St. (parking behind 20th Century Bowling), 233-1872.

Thursday, January 19

  • 4 p.m., Celebration, musical groups and speakers celebrate the life and legacy of King, award presentation, birthday cake, Sun Room, MU, 4-9934.

Wednesday, January 25

  • 8 p.m., Panel, "Affirmative Action and Other Strategies to End Discrimination and Racism," Ralph Rosenberg, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Carla Espinoza, ISU Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and Cornelia Flora, ISU sociology, will discuss the controversial research of Roland Fryer, Sun Room, MU, 4-9934.

Tuesday, January 31

  • 8 p.m., Lecture, "Toward a Unified Theory of Black America," Roland Fryer, Harvard University, Sun Room, MU, 4-9934.


The Ames/ISU YWCA and Carlie Tartakov will be honored as the first recipients of the One Community Award during the Jan. 19 King celebration.