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Author Harriet Washington to Deliver Keynote Talk at Chicago Campus King Day Celebration

January 07, 2010

Harriet Washington, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction award-winning book, “Medical Apartheid, The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present,” will be the keynote speaker at Northwestern University’s 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration on Monday, Jan. 18, at noon in Thorne Auditorium on the University’s Chicago campus.

During her talk, “What is our present day responsibility to achieve social justice in health and health care,” Washington will discuss the legacy of experimentation and injustice in medicine, and how many medical enhancements have been made on the backs of the poor and disenfranchised, who, ironically, are now the ones least likely to benefit from such progress. The keynote program will also include several musical performances, a panel discussion, and an award presentation. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is also expected to appear on the program. An 11 a.m. public reception in the Rubloff lobby will precede the program.

In addition to the keynote program, Northwestern Law and the Feinberg School of Medicine are also co-sponsoring the DREAM 2010: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Lecture Series, five consecutive lunchtime talks that will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. from Jan. 11 to 15, at the following Chicago campus locations. Topics will include:

• Monday, Jan. 11 – “Historical Roots & Contemporary Challenges: What Are the Rights of Illegal Immigrants?” moderated by Anthony Ponce of NBC Channel Five. The event will take place in Room 150 of the Arthur Rubloff Building, 375 E. Chicago Ave.

• Tuesday, Jan. 12 – “Environmental Racism: Poverty and Pollution in Minority Communities,” moderated by Kimbriell Kelly, senior editor, The Chicago Reporter. The lecture will be held in Room 180 of the Rubloff Building.

• Wednesday, Jan. 13 – “Fighting for Liberty in the Face of Denial: ‘Ask Not’” film screening and lecture, moderated by Andrew Koppelman, Northwestern professor of law. The event will be held in the Hughes Auditorium of the Robert H. Lurie building, 303 E. Superior St.

• Thursday, Jan. 14 – “America’s Forgotten People, Current Issues Affecting Native Americans.” The discussion will be held in Room 150 of the Rubloff Building.

• Friday, Jan. 15 – DREAM Award Recipient Lecture in Baldwin Auditorium, Lurie Building, 303 E. Superior St. The speaker will be DREAM Award recipient Carmen Velasquez, executive director of the Alivio Medical Center in Chicago, an organization she founded two decades ago as a bilingual, bicultural, nonprofit community health center.

All of the events are free and open to the public. For more information on these and other Evanston and Chicago campus MLK Day events, visit

The Chicago campus celebration is presented by the D.R.E.A.M. committee in collaboration with the Law School and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

D.R.E.A.M. is the acronym for Day to Recognize the Efforts and Achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an organization of University administrators and students that coordinates lectures and programs to inform faculty, staff, and students on the Chicago campus about the teachings and contributions of Dr. King.

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