Church bombing survivors to lead MLK Week lecture

Three sisters who survived the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963 will be among the keynote speakers at the Chancellor's Program on Jan. 22 during MLK Week, UNL's observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Sarah Collins-Rudoph, Janie Collins-Simpkins and Junie Collins-Williams will be featured, along with political scientist, writer and speaker Tracy Snipe of Wright State University in the program beginning at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Nebraska Union.

The bombing of the Birmingham church on a Sunday morning was an act of racially motivated terrorism that killed four girls and injured 22 others. It marked a turning point in the 1960s civil rights movement and contributed to support for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The program will also include the presentation of the 2013 Chancellor's "Fulfilling the Dream" Award to Pat Tetreault, assistant director for LGBTA programs and services in the UNL Office of Student Involvement. Fulfilling the Dream awards are presented annually to individuals or groups who have contributed to the UNL community and/or the wider Lincoln community by their exemplary action in promoting the goals and vision of King.

Tetreault has devoted 20 years of service to students, staff and faculty at UNL, first as the sexual education program coordinator at the University Health Center. While at the University Health Center, she wrote a proposal that resulted in the creation of an assistant director position for GLBT programs and services in the Office of Student Affairs, and in 2007 became the second person to occupy that position. She has become the primary resource on campus to provide guidance and expertise when groups or departments seek to build stronger connections with the LGBT community on campus and throughout Lincoln.

The program is free and open the public, as are all MLK Week programs at UNL, including:

• Jan. 23, 2-6 p.m., Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, 15th and S streets — Service Learning Project. Participants will volunteer at various sits around the community in honor of King's vision for community outreach. Check-in begins at 2 p.m. Register in advance at For more information, contact Joe Ruiz by email.

• Jan. 23, 7 p.m., Nebraska Union Crib — Open Mic MLK Tribute Night. Participants are encouraged to showcase their creativity through poetry, dance, the spoken word, song, etc., while addressing issues surrounding the work and legacy of King, including peace, equality and social justice. Prizes will be awarded. Performers register at

• Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m., Gaughan Center — Panel discussion on "Race, Immigration and the Transforming of a Nation: America in the 21st Century."

— Tom Simons, University Communications

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