MADISON — The Madison/Dane County King Coalition is pleased to announce that the official City of Madison & Dane County observance of the 2013 King Holiday will feature Reverend Everett Mitchell of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church as this year’s Master of Ceremonies along with a performance by The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Learning Community.
The observance will serve as the capstone to a series of events commemorating the King Holiday that begin on the preceding Friday with a free community dinner. It will take place on Monday, Jan. 21, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Overture Center for the Arts, a stunning architectural landmark located in the heart of Madison’s thriving cultural arts district. This year’s observance will bring back a special tradition as it kicks off with a Freedom Songs Sing-in from 5-5:30 p.m. in the Rotunda of the Overture Center. The City-County Observance will then take place beginning at 6 p.m. in the Overture Center’s Capitol Theater.
With a commanding and captivating stage presence, Rev. Everett Mitchell has established himself as a young, emerging leader even beyond the pulpit. As a member of several community service groups like the 100 Black Men of Madison, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Dane County, and the United Way of Dane County, Mitchell strives to make meaningful connections with community members and have a positive influence on younger generations. Outside of his duties as a pastor, he is the community relations director at UW-Madison where he utilizes the components of strategic development and community engagement to foster relationships between UW-Madison and other businesses, organizations, and stakeholders throughout Wisconsin.
UW’s First Wave will provide a spoken-word performance created just for this occasion. First Wave is a cutting-edge multicultural artistic program for students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is the first university program in the country that is centered on urban arts, spoken word, and hip hop culture. Bringing together young artists and leaders from across the U.S and beyond, the First Wave Learning Community offers students the opportunity to live, study, and create together in a close-knit, dynamic campus community.
King Coalition Co-Chair Dr. Gloria Hawkins explains that, “The Coalition is deviating from its normal practice of featuring a national figure from the Civil Rights Movement this year in order to shine a spotlight on the work that a new generation is doing to remember, celebrate, and act in furtherance of Dr. King’s vision. Rev. Mitchell and First Wave both exemplify King’s work and their involvement is particularly special in light of the role that their generation played in re-electing the nation’s first black president. ”
In addition to Mitchell and First Wave, the observance will also feature presentation of the City & County King Humanitarian awards by Mayor Paul Soglin and County Executive Joe Parisi, a call to action, and the MLK Community Choir.
THE MLK COMMUNITY CHOIR is led by one of Madison’s noted music directors Leotha Stanley with the assistance of two accomplished musicians — his wife, Tamera Stanley and daughter, Letrice Stanley. Participation in the choir is open to all interested individuals. No registration or audition is required; interested individuals need only attend the two upcoming rehearsals at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 2019 Fisher Street. These will take place on Tuesday, Jan.15, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 19, at 11 a.m.
FREE COMMUNITY DINNER: The community is also invited to attend the King Coalition’s 26th Annual Free Community Dinner, 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 18 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s New Gordon Commons, 770 W. Dayton St., 2nd Floor. Enjoy a wonderful meal with friends, old and new, in Dr. King’s spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood for community and peace. Free shuttle bus service to and from the dinner will be provided by Kobussen Buses Ltd. Pickups are scheduled at the YWCA, 101 E Mifflin Street (departing at 5:45 p.m.) and Grace Episcopal Church, 116 W. Washington Ave. (departing at 5:55 p.m.).
YOUTH SERVICE DAY 2013: Dr. King once said, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?” Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the president's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.
In Madison, 300 middle and high school students are expected at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery where they will learn how science and service can intersect. The event is open to any Dane County middle or high school students and there is no cost to participate. However, registration is limited to the first 300 youth. Adult volunteers are also needed. Register and find more information online: www.ulgm.org/YSD2013.