BU to Honor Legacy of Alumnus Martin Luther King, Jr.

Contact: Colin Riley, 617-353-2240 | criley@bu.edu

(Boston) — At 1 p.m. on Monday, January 19, the Boston University community will honor its most distinguished graduate by celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day through the insights of renowned physician and aid worker Paul Farmer. Dr. Farmer is co-founder of Partners in Health (www.pih.org), a Boston-based international organization that provides health care and advocacy services for people living in poverty around the world. His remarks are expected to examine inequality, injustice and human rights violations in the 21st century, current examples relevant to Dr. King’s legacy.

Dr. Farmer, who began working in Haiti in 1983, founded the first PIH clinic there in the village of Cange two years later. Since then PIH has expanded its community-based treatment programs to Peru, Russia, Malawi, Rwanda, Lesotho, and Boston to treat and reduce instances of HIV infection and tuberculosis, as well as to meet food, water, and housing needs in poverty-stricken regions and countries.

Boston University MLK, Jr. Scholar Ashish Premkumar, one of a group of academically gifted students awarded full scholarships in King’s name for their demonstrated leadership abilities, a commitment to social justice, and a record of community involvement will introduce Dr. Farmer. The program also will feature performances by the Inner Strength Gospel Choir and dance group Xception Step Team, the reading of an excerpt of Dr. King’s sermon, “The Drum Major Instinct,” and the showing of a special video created for this occasion.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for his civil rights work and leadership, received his doctorate from Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1955 and an honorary degree in 1959. The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at BU maintains the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, some 80,000 items Dr. King donated to the university in 1964. The collection is in the midst of a two-year electronic cataloguing process.

For more information on Monday’s celebration, please link to the BU Today article: http://www.bu.edu/today/campus-life/2008/12/08/international-activist-paul-farmer-speak-bu and slideshow: http://www.bu.edu/today/node/8119

BU Celebration of the Legacy of Alumnus MLK, Jr.

Monday, January 19, 2009 at 1 p.m.

Boston University George Sherman Union
Metcalf Hall 2nd floor
775 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02215