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January 12, 2005

JAN. 27: Law professor Ibrahim Gassama to be honored at UO’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrations

Law faculty member Ibrahim Gassama,  a professor
of international law, will be honored with one of the
UO’s Martin Luther King, Jr Awards on January 27 for exemplifying King’s ideals. These include showing moral courage, promoting racial justice, welcoming people of color, promoting cultural awareness, and setting an example. 
In addition to his inspired teaching, Gassama freely lends his time to human rights causes all over the world. Raised in Sierra Leone and educated at Harvard, he has assessed the effects of war on his homeland, the embargo on Cuba, global trade on Caribbean nations, and has trained and recruited election observers in Haiti and South Africa.

There’s so much work to do, Gassama says, so much pain in the world. I tell my students to get out and do this work before they settle down.

President Dave Frohnmayer will confer the award to Gassama and three others at a reception from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27, in the Gerlinger Hall alumni lounge, 1468 University St. For more details, go to UO Human Resources.

The other award recipients are Robin Holmes, director of the counseling and testing center, Chicora Martin, director of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender support services in Student Life and Martine Wigham, admissions coordinator for the American English Institute.
In addition to the annual awards ceremony,  the university will honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a number of free, public events during and around the national holiday.
Vice Provost Greg Vincent, who also teaches at the law school, will serve as master of ceremonies at the campus and community celebration honoring King’s Life on Monday, January 17 at 6 p.m. in the Erb Memorial Ballroom, 1222 E. 13th Ave.
The event features best-selling author and journalist Bebe Moore Campbell. She will address the event’s theme of Celebrating Diversity Through Shared Humanity.  Eugene’s new mayor, and a number of community groups will also participate in the program.

The Washington Post calls Campbell one of the most important African American writers of this century. She is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts literature grant and is the author of three New York Times best sellers Brothers and Sisters, (Berkely, 1995), Singing in the Comeback Choir, (Berkely, 1999) and What You Owe Me, (Penguin Putnam, 2001). As a journalist the Los Angeles-based writer has written for the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Essence, Ebony and Black Enterprise and is a regular commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

For more details on Celebrating Diversity, call Greg Evans, (541) 868-6050.

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