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01-06-2012

Clarkson University to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/brian-c-johnson.jpg .]

Clarkson University will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 16, with a special dinner and presentations by Brian C. Johnson, a faculty member in the Department of Developmental Instruction at Bloomsburg University and director of the Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence.

Brian C. Johnson, a faculty member in the Department of Developmental Instruction at Bloomsburg University and director of the Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic ExcellenceAll events are open to the public and free, except for the dinner, for which tickets can be purchased.

At 4 p.m. in the Student Center Forum, Johnson will speak on “Reel Big Bullies.”

Johnson says that bullying at school means that learning occurs in a culture of fear and intimidation. Using clips from Hollywood blockbusters like Knocked Up, The Emperor’s New Groove, Benchwarmers and others, Johnson will help students, administrators, teachers and counselors create a safer school environment for all students. The presentation is also intended to help all students understand the terrible toll bulling can take on its victims, and to encourage students to stand up for their classmates who are being harassed.

At 6 p.m. in the Cheel Campus Center’s Cheel Commons, the community is invited to partake in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day dinner. The meal will feature chicken, baked cheese ziti, lemon peppered catfish, salt potatoes, corn, collard greens, corn bread and more. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased at $18 each by contacting Vicki Clark at 315-268-3785 or vicki@clarkson.edu.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day wraps up at 7 p.m. in the Cheel Campus Center Barben Rooms, as the Clarkson community, commemorates King’s life, legacy, and commitment to the dream.

There, Johnson will deliver the keynote speech, titled "Because I Choose To...,” and Associate Dean of New Student Financial Aid Kara Pitts will be honored with the third annual Institutional Diversity Initiatives Recognition Award. The event will also feature a performance by Organized Chaos, Clarkson’s step team.

Johnson is a founder of the Pennsylvania Association of Liaisons and Officers of Multicultural Affairs, a consortium that promotes best practices in higher education. He is a former trainer with the National Coalition Building Institute and was certified in their prejudice reduction and controversial issues process modules. He is a featured columnist on the Antiracistparent.com website. He also has professional experience in social and human services.

He earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from California University of Pennsylvania, and has completed the necessary coursework toward a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University. Johnson’s research is in the area of white student racial identity development. He is the author of We’ve Scene It All Before: Using Film Clips in Diversity Awareness Training (2009) and co-author of Reel Diversity: A Teacher’s Sourcebook (2008).

Johnson, an ordained minister, serves on the ministry team at Revival Tabernacle in Watsontown, Pa., where he is a church elder, youth minister and a team leader for the Tabernacle Players, the church’s performing arts troupe. In 2009, his book, Sintimacy: The Christian’s Love Affair with Secret Sin, was published by Revival Nation Publishing.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 16, with a special dinner and presentations by Brian C. Johnson (above), a faculty member in the Department of Developmental Instruction at Bloomsburg University and director of the Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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