NAACP state president to give MLK Day keynote address
NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Rosemary Harris Lytle, president of the NAACP for Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, will be the featured speaker for “Remember the Dream,” Bethel College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.
The program will take place Monday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium.
Bethel and several community organizations are collaborating on three special events to mark this year’s King holiday, all of them free and open to the public.
The first will be Sunday evening at 7 p.m. in the Newton High School auditorium – a screening of the documentary Anne Braden: Southern Patriot, co-sponsored by the Newton Anti-Racism Group.
The 77-minute film, by Anne Lewis and Mimi Pickering of the eastern Kentucky-based media collective Appalshop, was released in 2012.
Its subject is the extraordinary life of civil rights leader and Louisville native Anne Braden (1924-2006), whom Martin Luther King Jr. hailed as “eloquent and prophetic” in his 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and who mentored three generations of social justice activists.
A discussion period will follow the showing of the documentary. For more information, see www.annebradenfilm.org/index.php.
Monday night’s program on the Bethel campus will feature, in addition to Lytle’s address, the winners of poetry, art and essay contests, along with special musical performances by Bethel students.
There will be a freewill offering taken for the Harvey County Homeless Shelter.
Lytle, a former newspaper journalist who worked at the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, Virginian Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) and Colorado Springs Gazette, among others, is now a certified diversity trainer, facilitator and consultant for school districts, colleges and universities and nonprofit and other organizations.
She served as president of the NAACP Colorado Springs Branch for eight years before assuming her current position with the organization.
She has received the League of Women Voters Making Democracy Work Award and the Citizens Project Divine Award and was honored this past September as a Rocky Mountain Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction.
She is the Colorado delegate to Vision 20/20, a national project to help women reach political parity by 2020 (the 100th anniversary year of women’s right to vote in the United States) and is a member of the national board of directors for Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation, an anti-death penalty group.
The third special event in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday will be Tuesday, Jan. 22, a seminar with Lytle at Bethel that is open to all: “Uncovering the New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the U.S.,” 1-2 p.m. in James A. Will Family Academic Center Room 216.
Planners and co-sponsors for Lytle’s appearances on the Bethel College campus are the Multicultural Student Union and the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR), along with the Harvey County Community Partnership, Inc., and its Diversity Task Force, with support from the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Volunteer Commission.
For more information, call Multicultural Student Union adviser Caleb Lázaro at 620-615-2322.
Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2012-13 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2012-13. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.