Tim Wise, one of the nation’s most prominent anti-racism essayists and educators, will be the keynote speaker Jan. 22 for Longwood University’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy.

Wise, the author of six books including his highly acclaimed memoir White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, will speak Thursday, Jan. 22, at 4 p.m. in Jarman Auditorium. His topic is "Resurrecting Apartheid, from Fergeson to the Voting Booth to the Border—Combating Racism in the Post-Obama Era."

Wise began his career as a youth coordinator and associate director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, the largest group organized in the early 1990s to defeat the political candidacies of white supremacist David Duke. He also has been a community organizer in New Orleans public housing and a policy analyst for a children’s advocacy group fighting poverty and economic inequity.

"Fifty years after the Griffin decision ended Massive Resistance, it’s apt that we host a speaker of Tim Wise’s stature for the MLK symposium," said Jonathan Page, Longwood’s director of citizen leadership and social justice education. "In the spirit of Dr. King, Tim Wise is unafraid to challenge people on their beliefs and encourages his audiences to keep the torch of social justice aloft."

Other MLK activities include the day of local community service projects known as the MLK Service Challenge (Jan. 19); an oratory competition called the MLK Forensic Challenge (Jan. 20); a reception and silent auction, "Common Ties: A Night of Reflection and Celebration," at the Moton Museum (Jan. 23); and a civil rights bus trip to Washington, D.C., that will include the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial (Jan. 24).

All activities are open to the public. There is a fee for the Moton Museum reception ($10 per person, $18 per couple) and the Washington, D.C., bus trip ($10). For more information, visit http://mlk.longwood.edu/.

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