Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

May 9, 2001

Whitworth Hosting Community Conversation with Pastor Who Succeeded Martin Luther King Sr. at Ebenezer Baptist Church

Who: The Rev. Joseph L. Roberts Jr. has been at the center of sweeping social changes since he succeeded Martin Luther King Sr. as senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta in 1975. Rev. Roberts, who is Whitworth's 2001 commencement speaker, is only the fourth senior pastor in Ebenezer Baptist's 115-year history and has overseen tremendous growth in the church and its ministry of social justice during his quarter century of leadership. He will take part in a wide-ranging dialogue moderated by Whitworth Psychology Professor Jim Waller, founder of Whitworth's acclaimed Prejudice Across America study tour and a noted scholar and author on race relations.

What: Members of the Spokane community are invited to join Whitworth students and faculty for an open conversation with Rev. Roberts about civil rights, race relations, social justice, Martin Luther King Jr. and other subjects to which he brings a unique perspective as the leader of one of America's most influential churches. "Having Rev. Roberts join us for commencement weekend is a chance to have history join us," Waller says. "For more than 25 years, he has welcomed the responsibility and charge that comes with leading a church that lies at the heart of the history of the Civil Rights Movement. More than history, though, Rev. Roberts brings with him a contemporary message of the spiritual call for racial reconciliation and healing - a call with which all communities should be challenged."

When: 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday, May 19

Where: Seeley G. Mudd Chapel on the Whitworth campus


Greg Orwig, director of communications, (509) 777-4580 or gorwig@whitworth.edu.

Jim Waller, professor of psychology, (509) 777-4424 or jwaller@whitworth.edu.

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