Thursday, April 3, 2008

Communities in the region will mark the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination tomorrow with a variety of events commemorating his legacy in the civil rights movement.

In the District, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty will help open the Friendship Public Charter School’s new elementary campus in Southeast, at the intersection of Martin Luther King Avenue and Milwaukee Place Road.

The school building, formally Southeast Academy of Scholastic Excellence, which shut down in 2005, took two years and $15 million of renovations to be made ready for use. About 80 percent of area residents qualify for low-income subsidies, according to the school.

“The resurrection of this school has a linear connection to Dr. King’s principles and provides an opportunity for students in the community to receive a quality education,” school officials said.

Two men who were ushers at King’s funeral — Donald Hense, chairman of Friendship’s board of trustees, and the Rev. Calvin Butts III, pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York — will join Mr. Fenty for the 9:30 a.m. event.



Other events include Howard University honoring King tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the Andrew Rankin Chapel. The event will include reflections from his life, performance of two of his favorite songs and a dramatic reading by a theater student.

NBC News also will be on campus to film a program called “Black in America,” hosted by news anchorman Brian Williams. The program will include a documentary by a young black man about his family, said Ronald Harris, associate professor of journalism.

Beginning today, the University of Baltimore will mark the anniversary by hosting a three-day conference, which will be attended by scholars in such fields as race relations, civic engagement and 20th-century history.

The conference is called “Baltimore ‘68: Riots and Rebirth — Three Days of Scholarship, Art, History and Civic Dialogue.” It is sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council.

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