The Jan. 17 event begins at 1 p.m. in the Margaret Comstock Concert Hall, School of Music, Belknap Campus. The program will feature:

  • Keynote address by Tonea Stewart, an actress known for roles in the movies Mississippi Burning, A Time to Kill and The Rosa Parks Story and as Aunt Etta in the television series In the Heat of the Night. Stewart is dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Alabama State University, Montgomery, Ala.
  • Performance of the play, Trouble Don’t Last Always, written and directed by Deana Thomas, director of UofL’s African American Theatre Program (AATP). The play is a portrayal of African American high school students who were told that they would attend white schools in the fall of 1956. Some of those former students will be the audience.
  • Presentation of the M.L. King Service Award to the Louisville chapter of the NAACP. Chapter President Raoul Cunningham will attend to accept the award, which is being given to the organization for service to the community.
  • Update on the development of Freedom Park, the grassy area between Second and Third streets near the main entrance to Belknap Campus and home to The Playhouse, a venue for university theater productions. Larry Owsley, UofL vice president for business affairs, and Thomas will discuss the transformation of the park and plans for its future.

There also will be music by the Black Diamond Choir and refreshments.

The program is sponsored by the AATP, a part of the university’s theatre arts department, and the Office of Business Affairs. Parking is free in lots adjacent to the School of Music and College of Business.