By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma Children’s Theatre and the Respect Diversity Foundation invite the public to participate in three events honoring the Civil Rights movement next month. The events will run April 1 through 11.
The program will feature Civil Rights panel discussions with well known icons of the Sit-In Movement; performances of the fantasy play “Jackie & Me,” about Jackie Robinson, one of baseball’s greatest players, civil rights history and time travel; along with a student art exhibition.
The discussion panelists, all Members of the Respect Diversity Foundation (RDF) Speakers Bureau, are all noted public speakers, workshop facilitators and performers who will examine the Civil Rights Movement as it impacts the lives of every citizen.
“Participating in the Civil Rights Panel Discussions are leaders in our community who learned from Clara Luper, the Mother of the Sit-In Movement,” said Joan Korenblit, Executive Director of the Respect Diversity Foundation.
Discussions will take place in the Burg Theatre in the Bass Music Building of Oklahoma City University.
“These are dynamic speakers who have powerful stories to tell. Marilyn Luper Hildreth, one of Clara Luper’s daughters, will be participating” Korenbit said. “The Civil Rights Panel Discussions are free. We simply ask for an RSVP.”
On Wednesday, April 1 at 10 a.m., along with Hildreth, panelists will include Joyce Henderson, and Dr. Gloria Pollard.
Thursday, April 9 at 10 a.m., featured panelists are Dr. Stan Evans, storyteller Jahruba Lambeth, and Dr. Gwen Mukes
And on Saturday, April 11 at 3:30 p.m. panelists will include Ayanna Najuma, Stan Evans, and Marilyn Luper Hildreth.
All panels will be moderated by Michael Korenblit, author of Until We Meet Again, a true story of love and survival during the Holocaust.
The panel discussions are free of charge to all who RSVP to Joan Korenblit at [email protected] or 405-359-0369.
“Jackie & Me,” is a play by Steven Dietz based on the book by Dan Gurman. Presented at OCU’s Burg Theatre, it is the story of Joey, a ten year old headstrong boy with a special talent for time travel.
When he is asked to write a report on an African American who has made an important contribution to society, Joey travels back in time to Brooklyn, New York, in 1947.
There he meets Jackie Robinson, one of baseball’s greatest players. Hoping to write a prize-winning report, Joey’s experience forever changes his view of history and his definition of courage.
“Jackie & Me” opens on Wednesday April 1 at 11 a.m. Daytime and evening performances are available. The closing performance will be Saturday, April 11 at 8 p.m.
While visiting the Burg Theater, be sure to check out the Respect Diversity Arts Exhibition, themed “Respect, Responsibility, Resilience!” The show is comprised of collaborative art integration projects by students from around the state that teach the community respect for diversity through the arts.
The exhibit is free and open to the public from April 1 – 11.
These events are sponsored by the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, Oklahoma Humanities Council and The Respect Diversity Foundation.
“OCU is simply a great venue,” Joan said. “Those who attend will see the Respect Diversity Arts Exhibition in the Wanda Bass Music Center, which will be thought provoking, colorful and inspiring.”
RDF’s goal is to help students of all ages understand other cultures and their own, create positive inter-group relationships and build strong communities throughout the state of Oklahoma.
To purchase “Jackie & Me” tickets online, visit www.OklahomaChildrensTheatre.org or call the Box Office at 405-951-0011, Tuesday through Friday, from 1 – 5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.respectdiversity.org.