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Media Advisory: Keynote speaker Loretta Ross to anchor the University’s weeklong Martin Luther King Jr. celebration

Jan. 18, 2008

What/Who: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” wrote Martin Luther King Jr. in his famed Letter from Birmingham Jail; the phrase will serve as the theme to the University of Chicago’s annual weeklong celebration of King’s life. Anchoring the celebration will be a keynote address Monday during King’s memorial service by Loretta Ross, founder and national coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective. Ross will speak about “Dr. King’s dream of bringing human rights home,” a message he conveyed in his last Sunday sermon, delivered on March 31, 1968 — just four days before his assassination.

The memorial service is free and open to the public. Media is asked to check in and will be directed upon arrival to enter in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel’s west entrance.

When: 12 p.m. Monday, January 21

Where: Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.                                   

Background: Of her speech Monday, Ross said, “Dr. King called upon us to build a human rights movement in this country. I’ll talk about what that means. People think of Dr. King as a civil rights leader, but he had a much broader vision that included human rights — rights to be treated as an equal. … Everybody told me he had a dream. No one told me he had a plan.”

Ross is the co-founder of the National Center for Human Rights Education and worked for the center from 1996 to 2004. At SisterSong, Ross’ foundation teaches women about “everything from HIV/AIDS … to pro-choice policies,” she said.

Additional information and a complete schedule of events is available at

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Last modified at 10:07 AM CST on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

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