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Leading Youth Advocate Kwame Rose Slated to Kick Off 30th Annual MLK Week for Peace in New Orleans

Loyola press release - January 11, 2016

Leading social activist and artist Kwame Rose visits New Orleans next week as headline speaker of the 30th Annual MLK Week for Peace, which this year enjoys the theme “Making the Dream Matter: Moving from Action to Activism.” Also making headlines at the annual celebration is New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who will receive the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cantrell states: “Through the frustrations and obstacles I have faced in the fight for people and communities, I have been guided by the example of Dr. Martin Luther King who stated: ‘Let us fight passionately and unrelentingly for the goals of justice and peace. Let's be sure that our hands are clean in the struggle. Let us never fight with falsehood and violence and hate and malice, but always fight with love, so that when the day comes that the walls of segregation have completely crumbled in Montgomery, that we will be able to live with people as their brothers and sisters.’”

The MLK Week for Peace is a collaborative celebration among four major universities in New Orleans: Loyola University New Orleans, Tulane University, Xavier University of Louisiana and the University of New Orleans. Each year, through a series of events, the consortium commemorates, celebrates and reflects on the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision of collective work and social justice. A community service award is presented to a student from each university.

This year, the annual series of events includes: a convocation featuring guest speaker Kwame Rose and Lifetime Achievement Award winner LaToya Cantrell; tributes to students and outstanding community leaders; a showcase of university step teams, and a day of service spotlighting collaborative community service projects in the greater New Orleans area.

Transportation will be provided for each event from each institution. Pick-up locations and times will be posted on the MLK Week for Peace Facebook page.

Events are scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
Convocation Reception, Tulane University LBC, 1834 Club

Guests are invited to mix and mingle with the keynote speaker, Lifetime Achievement Award honorees and Community Service Award recipients.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
Tulane University, LBC Qatar Ballroom
Black EXCELLence: Millennial Activist Leading the Revolution

Millennial activist Kwame Rose kicks off the three-day 2016 MLK Week for Peace with a headline speech about youth leading an ongoing national “revolution” and ways in which New Orleans youth can make positive change and move from action to activism.

Rose gained visibility during the 2015 Baltimore Uprising when he confronted national news media, challenging representation of peaceful protests. At 21, he is a leading youth advocate.

Rose’s passion for public speaking earned him a full scholarship to the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he served on the debate team and advocated for hip-hop infused education as a way of educating youth and giving “a voice to the voiceless.” Deteriorating conditions in his hometown of Baltimore prompted the young activist’s permanent return home following his freshman year.

In 2013, Rose helped form Brothers In Action, Inc., a mentoring group for young Black males in Baltimore City. Recently, he helped to launch Black EXCELLence, and the BE Foundation, in an effort to highlight Black youth and help them excel in pursuing their dreams and aspirations.

In his speeches and public appearances, Rose’s dialogue focuses on social justice issues and youth advocacy in the Black community. He emphasizes a need for ongoing dialogue, awareness and problem-solving.

“The #BlackLivesMatter movement has mobilized and inspired an unprecedented number of young people to join the fight for social justice,” says Rose, reflecting on his work in the community. “The only way we can make change become a reality is if we continue to inspire individuals to stand up for what is important to them, and work to create effective solutions.”

Friday, Jan. 22, 7 p.m.
Xavier University, University Center Ballroom
“Expressions of Unity and Step Off for the Dream”

Step teams from each university will perform, celebrating Dr. King’s dream through song, spoken word, dance, music and more.

Saturday, Jan. 23, 8 a.m.
Day of Service
Loyola University Residential Quad

More than 500 students from Tulane, Xavier, Loyola and the University of New Orleans will answer Dr. King’s question, “What are you doing for others?” by going out into the greater New Orleans community and performing acts of service. Volunteers may also participate in a poverty simulation with local community members. To sign up, visit http://bit.ly/noladayofservice2016.