Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16, will have particular resonance, considering that it falls in the same week that the country’s first African American president is set to leave office. 

Dominican University will explore that synchronicity and assess the extent of the country’s racial progress in a panel discussion, “Assessing the MLK Legacy: The State of Race After Obama’s Historic Presidency.” 

The event will feature journalist Salim Muwakkil, senior editor of the politically progressive monthly magazine In These Times. In particular, the event will explore the mid-1960s Chicago Freedom Movement, led by King and his Southern Christian Leadership Council.

The Jan. 18 panel discussion will start at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center in Dominican’s Fine Arts Building, 7900 Division St. For more information, contact Sheila Radford-Hill, Dominican’s chief diversity officer, at 

On Jan. 16, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (8th) and Lynn Allen will host the 10th Annual Family Health Challenge at Percy Julian Middle School, 416 S. Ridgeland Ave. in Oak Park.

The annual event, open to parents and students in grades K-8 from Chicago and surrounding communities, will feature MLK trivia and a range of physical fitness activities — honoring Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! health and fitness campaign. 

Those interested are asked to pre-register for the event by Jan. 12 by filling out a permission form and emailing it to or faxing it to 480-287-8750. To access the form, visit and look on the Current News section of the site on the left-hand side of the screen. 

For more information, call Rep. Ford at 773-378-5902, or visit

Michael Romain 

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