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MLK Day events at Bates

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a debate featuring students from Morehouse and Bates colleges takes place at 1 p.m. in the Benjamin Mays Center, 95 Russell St. (The center is named for a member of the college’s class of 1920 who was a mentor to King and president of Morehouse College.) The debaters will address the resolution, “Environmental sustainability and social equality are incompatible.”

The day closes with “A Journey of Our Own,” a 7:30 p.m. performance by Sankofa, a Bates student group exploring cross-cultural blackness within African diasporic experiences through performative arts like dance, music, theater and spoken work. The performance takes place in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

Three related events take place during the weekend prior to King Day:

Performer-activist-educator Marc Bamuthi Joseph presents a staged reading of his multimedia performance piece “red, black & GREEN: a blues,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, Olin Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. The piece tells stories of inner-city residents who bear the brunt of social and environmental injustice in the U.S. Joseph and his company will present a fully staged version of the critically acclaimed piece at Bates April 27-28.

The Bates Environmental Film Festival presents two screenings:

“The Greenhorns” (2010; 40 min.), detailing the spirit, practices and challenges of America’s young farming community, screens at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, in Chase Lounge, 56 Campus Ave.

Director Josh Fox presents his “Gasland” (2010; 107 min.), revealing the environmental damage caused by the natural gas mining practice called “fracking,” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. Fox also presents a workshop on Jan. 16.

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