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The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture Presents the 7th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium Featuring Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson, Journalism Professor at Boston University

Isabel Wilkerson, Journalism Professor at Boston University

The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture will present the Seventh Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium on January 16, 2012, 7-8:45 p.m., in the Winspear Opera House in Dallas’ AT&T Performing Arts Center. The theme for this year’s program is “The World Dr. King Inherited & Changed.” Keynote speaker will be Isabel Wilkerson, the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief at The New York Times. ALON USA and Baylor Health Care System are presenting sponsors.

“The World Dr. King Inherited & Changed” will address an aspect of Dr. King’s legacy which is in danger of being forgotten: the social and cultural conditions that led to the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Wilkerson, the author of The New York Times’ bestseller The Warmth of Other Suns, will be discussing the dramatic, untold stories of American history from the “great migration” of some six million black citizens who fled the South and Jim Crow laws from 1915 to 1970 in search of a better life. The Seventh Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium will also feature Dallas citizens who can recall and relate personal experiences before, during, and after the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. King.

“For this Symposium we felt it was important to take our audience back to the time before the Civil Rights Movement swept the nation,” said Dr. Larry Allums, executive director of The Dallas Institute. “By doing this, only then can we truly reflect on the incredible impact Dr. King had on our country and how far we have come in the last 50 years. I am thrilled that Isabel Wilkerson will be the first African American woman to speak at our MLK Jr. Symposium. With her historical insight and extensive experience in the world of narrative journalism, this event is one that I urge everyone, whatever their race, to come together for and encounter as one.”

The program will begin at 7 p.m. with a keynote address, followed by an interview and discussion until 8:45 p.m.

The MLK Symposium is open to the public, but attendance is by reservation only. Admission is $20; admission for teachers and students is $10. Group rate for 10 or more is $15 per ticket. To register, call the Winspear box office at (214) 880-0202 or go to For Group Sales (10 or more) contact Jason Keller at (214) 978-2878. For more information, call (214) 871-2440 or visit

Information about Feature Speaker and Sponsors

Isabel Wilkerson is a Journalism Professor at Boston University, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and author of The New York Times’ bestseller, The Warmth of Other Suns. This book reveals the untold stories of the the “American Migration.” She interviewed over 1,200 people, gathered their stories, and compiled them to create the book she tells through three unforgettable protagonists as they make the decision of their lives. In 1994, Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times, making her the first African-American woman to win for individual reporting. She also won the George Polk Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

She has appeared on 60 Minutes, PBS’s Charlie Rose, NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, NBC’s Nightly News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, and more. Wilkerson has lectured on narrative writing at Harvard University, has served as Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University and as the James M. Cox Jr. Professor at Emory University. She is currently Professor of Journalism and Director of Narrative Nonfiction at Boston University.

The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization with a 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders. Created in 1980, The Dallas Institute is Dallas’ only center for creative and intellectual exchange that provides enriching programs for the public that are grounded in the wisdom of the humanities, laying the foundation for Dallas to realize its full potential for cultural excellence. The Dallas Institute is located at 2719 Routh St., Dallas, Texas 75201. For information, call (214) 871-2440, or visit

Alon USA Energy, Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the United States. The Company owns four crude oil refineries in Texas, California, Louisiana and Oregon, with an aggregate crude oil throughput capacity of approximately 250,000 barrels per day. Alon is a leading producer of asphalt, which it markets through its asphalt terminals predominately in the Western United States. Alon is the largest 7-Eleven licensee in the United States and operates more than 300 convenience stores in Texas and New Mexico. Alon markets motor fuel products under the FINA brand at these locations and at approximately 610 distributor-serviced locations.

Baylor Health Care System, founded as a Christian ministry of healing, serves all people through exemplary health care, education, research, and community service. The company focuses on innovation and research to provide advanced health care options, treatments, and procedures. Baylor offers an extensive network of locations and physicians, as well as financial assistance programs, so everyone can access quality health care they can trust. Baylor is a non-profit health care system that has been committed to improving the community by reinvesting financially in the health of North Texas for over 100 years.

Isabel Wilkerson, Journalism Professor at Boston University

Isabel Wilkerson, Journalism Professor at Boston University

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