January 13, 2014

Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison to deliver keynote during Wayne State's annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute

Wayne State University will host its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Luncheon at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.

The keynote speaker is Mae Jemison, a physician, engineer, educator, entrepreneur and NASA astronaut. Jemison was the first African American woman in space and now leads the 100 Year Starship initiative to enable innovations for human travel to the stars.

"Dr. Jemison's admiration for Dr. King, coupled with her extraordinary achievements in science and technology, made her a great choice as our 2014 keynote speaker," said WSU Vice President of Government and Community Affairs Patrick O. Lindsey. "Each year, we celebrate King's legacy with those who personify his dream. We hope that those attending will be motivated to pursue their dreams so that they will be an inspiration for future generations."

Net proceeds from the luncheon will support Adopt-A-Classroom, a nationally recognized organization that invites the community into classrooms to increase opportunities for student success by empowering teachers with community partnerships and funds to purchase resources. Last fall, Wayne State adopted Detroit's Burton International Academy. Since 2008, nearly 40 classrooms in the Detroit area have been sponsored.

The tribute also includes a presentation of the Dr. Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Awards. This year's recipients are Daphne W. Ntiri, associate professor in WSU's Department of Africana Studies, and WSU's GO-GIRL (Gaining Options-Girls Investigate Real Life) program.

The awards, named after late civil rights leader and Wayne State administrator Arthur L. Johnson, honor individuals and organizations -- nominated by the public -- whose contributions positively affect the community.

Tickets are $10 for the program only or $65 for the program with strolling luncheon. Parking is free. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.communityoutreach.wayne.edu/mlk.  

About the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute
Wayne State University makes the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday a month-long celebration. In addition to a day of service on the designated holiday, the university hosts a program and luncheon commemorating King's legacy while promoting community engagement. The tribute has featured prominent civil rights leaders and advocates, including author and activist C. T. Vivian, world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson, Essence magazine editor emeritus Susan Taylor, prominent Detroit minister Rev. Charles G. Adams, NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and political strategist and syndicated columnist Donna Brazile.

About the Dr. Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Award Recipients
Individual Award 
Daphne W. Ntiri, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Wayne State University. She has worked locally, nationally and internationally in the field of adult education/adult literacy for more than 30 years. She served as consultant to the United Nations in field assignments on literacy in France, Senegal and Somalia. Professor Ntiri completed her doctorate in adult education at Michigan State University after a pre-doctoral assignment with the International Institute for Labor Studies and the International Labor Office in Geneva. She holds consultative status with the International Institute of Education in Hamburg relative to the International Conference on Adult Education (CONFITEA). 

Community Award
GO-GIRL (Gaining Options-Girls Investigate Real Life) was co-founded by Sally K. Roberts and Pamela Trotman Reid with support from the National Science Foundation in response to the decline in mathematics interest and achievement among seventh grade girls. The program includes activities designed to help adolescent girls build STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) confidence, capacity and career awareness. Since its inception, GO-GIRL has served more than 800 middle school girls from metropolitan Detroit, 90 percent of whom are African American. 

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 28,000 students.



Rasheda Williams
Phone: 313-577-8094
Email: rasheda.williams@wayne.edu

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