Willamette to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Willamette University, Willamette University College of Law and the Multicultural Law Students Association bring Derrick Bell and his presentation of "Gospel Choirs: Psalms of Survival in an Alien Land Called Home."

Inspirational stories and music will fill Smith Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 19, 2001, at 8 p.m. as Bell emphasizes the role music and song have played in African-American culture. Before the majority of African-Americans could read and write, an oral tradition existed that began with the stories and music of slave singers. A gospel choir will accompany Bell's presentation.

This event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required. General admission tickets will be available starting Monday, Jan. 8 through Mid-Valley Arts Council, 503-364-7474. For more information about the event, contact Audrey Durbin at 503-370-6300 x4334 or Rich Shintaku at 503-370-6265.

As a lawyer, activist, teacher and writer, Bell not only has spoken against civil injustice, he has shown how one person can act against civil injustice. Bell, the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School, resigned from his position because the school failed to hire women of color on the faculty. Most recently, Bell has served as dean at the University of Oregon Law School. Again, he left his position because the faculty refused to hire an Asian-American woman faculty candidate.

Following the performance, a reception will be held at the Willamette University College of Law with an opportunity for Bell to answer questions. The Multicultural Law Students Association will also be presenting an award for excellence in diversity to a Salem community member who has demonstrated a commitment to diversity.