Gonzaga to participate in Unity March, celebrate Black history

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Monday marks the 26thanniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday honoring the civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The City of Spokane urges residents to consider this year's holiday a “Day On, Not a Day Off.” Gonzaga Universityfaculty, staff and students plan to honor King's legacy and dream by taking part in the 10 a.m. March for Unity downtown and other related events afterward.

Extra police security will be in place for the events. (Last year's parade was re-routed after an explosive device was found near the parade route.Kevin Harphamadmitted to placing the device, which was discovered and disabled before it could explode,was convicted and sentenced last month to 32 years in prison.)

Gonzaga community members will gather Monday morning at the INB Performing Arts Center (334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.) — under Gonzaga University's banner — before the March for Unity begins. Following Related Events on Monday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. — Community Resource Fair, River Park Square, first and second floors, andChildren's Learning Resource Fairat the STA Bus Plaza, second floor. Noon-1 p.m. — “I Have a Dream,” Holy Family Hospital, 5633 N. Lidgerwood St., Health Education Center, lower level. The Rev. Percy Happy Watkins' delivery of Dr. King's famous speech. 3-4 p.m. — “I Have a Dream,” Providence Sacred Heart Hospital, 101 W. Eighth Ave., Mother Joseph Room. The Rev. Percy Happy Watkins' delivery of Dr. King's famous speech. Gonzaga to Celebrate Black History Month in February Gonzaga plans to celebrate Black History Month in February with the following events scheduled:

  • Tim Wise, a prominent and articulate social-justice writer and educator, will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room; free and open to the public. Wise was recently named by Utne Reader as one of “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” He has spoken at more than 600 colleges and in Canada and Bermuda on issues of comparative racism, race and education, racism and religion, and racism in the labor market.
  • The movie “Mooz-Lum“(2001) will be shown at 7 p.m., Feb. 10 in the Foley Center Teleconference Room. In the movie,Tariq (Evan Ross) — raised in a strict Muslim household — enters college confused. New peers, family and mentors help him find his place, but the 9/11 attacks upon the United States force him to face his past and make the biggest decisions of his life.After the film,Vik Gumbhir, Gonzaga associate professor of sociology, will lead an open discussion. Snacks and beverages will be provided. The event –sponsored by Gonzaga'sUnity Multicultural Education Center, the Student Wellness Resource Center and Professor Gumbhir– is free and open to the public.
  • UMEC, and Gonzaga student clubs the Black Student Union and the Young Democrats will sponsor “The Melding of Spiritual Activism and Social Justice” at 7 p.m., Feb. 13 in the Jepson Center's Wolff Auditorium. The event features Ericka Huggins, an activist, poet, professor and former Black Panther leader and political activist. The event is free and open to the public.
  • Gonzaga's Black Student Union will present its Annual Dinner, “Back to the Roots,” at 6 p.m., Feb. 18 in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for all others. For more information, contact the Black Student Union via email.
  • UMEC will present a Crafting Unity event, “African Art Showcase,” noon — 2 p.m., Feb. 22, main floor of Crosby Student Center.
  • UMEC also will sponsor aCultural Awareness Night featuring aSironka African Art Workshopat 7 p.m., Feb. 24 in the Jundt Art Center and Museum's Art Studio. This event alsois free and open to the public.

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Journalism Instructor at Washington State University.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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