Expressions of King’s Legacy
January 28 celebration features keynote speaker Andrew Young
Published Jan. 19, 2016
Andrew Young, a close friend and associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a leader in the Civil Rights movement, will be the keynote speaker for the 2016 Expressions of King’s Legacy Celebration at Rochester Institute of Technology. The event takes place from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28 in RIT’s Gordon Field House and Activity Center. This is a ticketed event, free and open to the campus and Rochester communities. Registration is required and can be completed online.
Young had aligned with King in the important areas of education, literacy and leadership, and these attributes weaved their way throughout his long and notable career in politics, diplomacy and activism. A graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut, Young would combine human rights activism, education and politics in key leadership positions throughout the Civil Rights Movement. He was instrumental in organizing voter registration processes and policies to include men and women of color. His work alongside King in writing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 remains influential, landmark legislation today.
In 1972, Young was the first African American since Reconstruction to be elected to Congress from Georgia when he won the state’s Fifth District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected to two terms before being appointed by President Jimmy Carter as ambassador to the United Nations, where he would, like King, advocate for human rights, at home and abroad.
The Expressions of King’s Legacy Celebration is a full day event and includes the following programs:
- Justin Kauflin, pianist, and film, Keep on Keepin’ On, 3–5 p.m., Ingle Auditorium
Screening of the film, Keep on Keepin’ On, about the jazz great, Clark Terry, who mentors and befriends Kauflin, a musical prodigy. The story is both a biography of Terry and the challenges overcome by Kauflin, who has been blind since age 11. Kauflin will perform after the movie and address audience questions. (The film will be closed captioned.)
- An Evening of Dance and Jazz, 7–9 p.m., Panara Theater, National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Pianist Justin Kauflin will open the evening’s musical performances followed by Rochester’s Borinquen Dance Theatre and the Ailey II dance ensemble. Nydia Padilla-Rodriguez an original member of Garth Fagan’s Bottom of the Bucket Dance Company established Borinquen Dance Theatre in 1981. She teaches adults, teenagers, young children at Rochester’s Hochstein Memorial Music School Caribbean dance classes, and is of only a handful of U.S. experts on the tradition of dance within Latin culture. Ailey II is renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Founded in 1974, the company embodies Alvin Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people.
- Film Screening, Selma, 9 p.m., Ingle Auditorium
RIT’s College Activities Board will screen the 2014 film as part of the Expressions event. The film is free and open to the public.
Selma is a true account of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure voting rights and the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Shortly after the march, President Lyndon Johnson would sign into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965.