Civil Rights activities planned at Ambrose

Anne Marie Amacher
Students, faculty and staff march to 11th and Ripley streets in Davenport as part of a silent march on Jan. 16 in Davenport. The civil rights march and talks were sponsored by St. Ambrose University.

For The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University’s annual Civil Rights Week celebration this year includes a four-hour campus program, viewing of the movie “Hesburgh,” and the annual march among other events.

• “Injustice Anywhere” is Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Rogalski Center ballroom. From 10 to 11 a.m., local youths are invited to participate in a rock painting activity to share messages of encouragement to continue the pursuit of human and civil rights. The rocks will be placed in the Freedom House Rock Garden at 1912 Grand Ave. in Davenport.

At 11 a.m., a unity service features a keynote address on King’s legacy by Redmond Jones II, a former commissioner and chair of the Iowa Commission on Human Rights and the current city administrator for West Branch, Iowa. The event opens with remarks from new Davenport Mayor Mike Matson and retiring U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), and a meditation on King’s legacy from Bishop J.R. Horton, DD, pastor of the Gospel Mission Temple.


A free community lunch follows in the Rogalski Center from noon to 1 p.m.

The event is sponsored by P.U.N.C.H., Friends of MLK and St. Ambrose University.

“We are proud of our history of celebrating civil rights each January, but we believe bringing an event to campus on the day the entire nation celebrates the legacy Rev. King left behind really conveys the impact and importance of the work he did,” said Ryan Saddler, associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at St. Ambrose. “Understanding Rev. King’s commitment to achieving freedom and civil rights for every American is essential to understanding the importance of continuing to fight for his dream.”

Additional Civil Rights week events at St. Ambrose include:

• Screenings of “Hesburgh,” a documentary film celebrating the work for social justice of former University of Notre Dame President Father Theodore Hesburgh, begins at 3 p.m. Jan. 18 and Jan. 19, in the Galvin Fine Arts Center.

• Community discussion on Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and war-inciting racism on Jan. 21 from 1-2 p.m. in Christ the King Chapel. Panelists include Lisa Killinger, president of the Muslim Community of the Quad Cities and professor of diagnosis and radiology at Palmer Chiropractic College; Chaplain (LtC) Kelly O’Leary, Command Chaplain for U.S. Army Sustainment Command; Rabbi Emeritus Henry Jay Karp, who teaches Judaism at St. Ambrose University; and Matthew Coomber, Episcopal priest and professor of theology.

• March to Remember is Jan. 21 from 3-4 p.m. beginning at Christ the King Chapel. Participants will walk to Marquette Street, which has been commemorated by the City of Davenport as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. As part of the march, St. Ambrose and the City of Davenport collaborated to host a pop-up crosswalk to increase awareness of the need for walkable sidewalks and crosswalks as a social justice issue. Participants will place additional signage and a tarp on the crosswalk on Gaines Street, across from Galvin Fine Arts, and walk across it as part of the march. Neighborhoods with safe and walkable sidewalks and crosswalks give individuals access to schools, business and support physical fitness.

• Community discussion on racism toward African-Americans in U.S. sports is scheduled for Jan. 22 from 7-8 p.m. at a site to be determined. Saddler and Tyler Spencer, assistant professor of kinesiology, will facilitate the session. Hosted by the SAU – Black Student Union.
For more details on those events and the rest of the week’s activities, visit

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