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American presidential transition is theme of King Day event

Monday, Jan. 19, 2009, 1 p.m. Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

Princeton will commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with its annual King Day celebration Monday, Jan. 19, in Richardson Auditorium of Alexander Hall. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start with musical selections at 1 p.m.

The theme of this year's program follows the hotly contested presidential election and asks, "If he were alive today, what would Dr. King most want our newly elected president to be concerned about?"

The event will include the presentation of awards to essay, poster and video contest winners in grades 4 through 12 from area schools. The students submitted entries in which they assumed the role of a cabinet member advising the president on a key issue that would be of particular interest to King. The names of the contest winners will be posted on the University's King Day website, and many of the posters also will be on display Jan. 19.

During the program the University will present the MLK Day Journey Award, which recognizes a member of the Princeton faculty, staff or student body who best represents King's continued journey. The event also will include a performance by Oasis Youth Steel Pan Ensemble, which is part of the Oasis Folk Arts Academy program in Newark, N.J.

The keynote address will be delivered by Hugh Price, the John Weinberg/Goldman Sachs Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Price, who began a five-year appointment at Princeton this academic year, is the former head of the National Urban League. He has dedicated his life to advocating for civil rights and equal opportunity. During his time at Princeton, he will lead courses that explore the many ways in which governments, foundations and nonprofit organizations can use their resources and influence to address social issues.

In addition to serving as president of the National Urban League for nearly a decade, Price has been a vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation focusing on at-risk youth, a senior vice president of the Thirteen/WNET public television station in New York and a member of the editorial board of The New York Times, writing about education and criminal justice. Price is the recipient of many honorary degrees and awards.

The King Day event will be webcast live on the WebMedia site. It is convened by the University's Martin Luther King Day Committee and is coordinated by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Human Resources. For more information, visit the King Day website.

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