Daily Briefs . . .


2 events scheduled at Cooley to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

During the week of Jan. 18, WMU-Cooley Law School’s Lansing campus will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a day of service on Monday and a presentation by Dr. James Mock on Thursday.

On Monday, Jan. 18, WMU-Cooley’s Student Diversity Committee is coordinating a day of service for students, faculty and staff.  Now in its sixth year, the service day allows individuals to give back to the Lansing community through volunteer work. Volunteers work from 1–4 p.m. at various locations including:

• Capital Area Humane Society

• Greater Lansing Food Bank

• Volunteers of America Food Bank

• Potter Park Zoo

On Thursday, Jan. 21, Dr. James Mock will present: “America Please Answer Dr. King.” The presentation by Mock will be based on King’s “Where do we go From Here” speech. Mock was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, during the Apartheid era. He witnessed the “evils” of the system from his youth and experienced traumatic events. Mock went to work as a field worker for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization led by King.

The presentation will take place at noon.


Iranian-American lawyer to deliver MLK Day address at MLaw

Shermin Kruse, an activist, lawyer, and Huffington Post columnist, and the best-selling author of “Butterfly Stitching,” will deliver the Law School’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day address on Monday, January 18.

Kruse and her family fled Iran when she was 11. Although none of them spoke English upon arrival, she went on to graduate cum laude from Michigan Law and become an equity partner at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP in Chicago. She cofounded the nonprofit Pasfarda Arts and Culture Exchange in 2007 to promote cultural understanding between the United States and Iran through the arts.

The arts always have been important to Kruse. Upholding the traditional Persian love of poetry, she began writing poems as a child, and also paints. Her debut novel, “Butterfly Stitching” (Water Bird Press), which is based on true stories of relatives and friends in Iran, was published in 2014. 

Kruse will examine the sociological, psychological, and scientific reasons why the population at large may react more strongly to the death of Cecil the Lion than the ongoing killings of unarmed African Americans, or for that matter, the hundreds of thousands of murdered Syrians. This talk will explore how we can empower ourselves and each other to act not only as agents of change but as sources of light, using mindfulness, willpower, advocacy, and diplomacy. The talk is on January 18 at 4 p.m. in 1225 South Hall.


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