Pitts to Headline MLK Symposium

By Peter Neumann
By Sharon McClendon

Pitts to Headline MLK Symposium

January 18, 2013

DEARBORN, Mi. (TV20Detroit.com) --- The Henry Ford teams up with the Department of Civil Rights to Host With Liberty and Justice for All Symposium in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Read the press release:

(Dearborn, Mich. – Jan. 7 2013) – In collaboration with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR), and in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, The Henry Ford museum will host the With Liberty and Justice for All symposium on January 21, 2013 with special keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, Leonard Pitts Jr. Through a sponsorship with Target, admission to The Henry Ford will be free to all guests throughout the day.

Leonard Pitts Jr. will deliver his keynote address titled “Flesh, Blood and Dreams – the Myths and Reality of Martin Luther King Jr.,” beginning at 10 a.m. Directly following his address on Dr. King’s legacy, he will engage with a panel of students about their view of civil rights today, along with a Q&A session with the audience. The student panelists are representatives of the MDCR Youth Academy.

In a career spanning more than 35 years, Leonard Pitts Jr. has been a columnist, college professor, radio producer and lecturer. In addition to his nationally syndicated column for the Miami Herald, he also has written four books including his latest novel, Freeman (Agate Bolden), which will be available for purchase following the morning symposium. Guests can have him sign their copy starting at 11:30 a.m. inside the Genius at Play store.

“We are pleased to partner with The Henry Ford to sponsor this event because they are the foremost authority on where we can experience living history through special events like this and other activities,” said Dan Krichbaum, Director of the Department of Civil Rights. “The With Liberty and Justice for All exhibit provides us a wonderful opportunity to remember the work of Dr. King.”

In addition to hearing keynote speaker Leonard Pitts Jr., guests can preview The Henry Ford’s Black History Month programming, including the 30-minute interactive musical and dramatic performance Minds on Freedom that brings the story of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s to life. The show celebrates those groups and individuals like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the Freedom Riders, who had the courage and commitment to ask for more from their nation.

Guests can also tour the With Liberty and Justice for All exhibit, take part in the “pledge your service” activity or climb aboard the Rosa Parks Bus. All programming will take place inside the Museum Plaza. For more information on Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities visit http://www.thehenryford.org/events/symposium.aspx or call (313) 982-6001.

About The Henry Ford:
The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Michigan, is the world’s premier history destination and a National Historic Landmark that celebrates American history and innovation. Its mission is to provide unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories and lives from America’s traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation. Its purpose is to inspire people to learn from these traditions to help shape a better future. Five distinct attractions at The Henry Ford captivate more than 1.5 million visitors annually: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus and was founded in partnership with The Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company and Wayne County Public Schools. For more information please visit our website thehenryford.org.

About the Michigan Department of Civil Rights:
The Department of Civil Rights works to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws and investigates and resolves discrimination complaints. It also provides information and services to businesses on diversity initiatives and equal employment law.
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution of 1963 to carry out the guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin and to "secure the equal protection of such civil rights without such discrimination." Public Acts 453 and 220 of 1976 and subsequent amendments have added sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disabilities to the original protected categories. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights was established in 1965 to provide a staff complement to the policy making responsibilities of the Commission.
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