Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through Learning, Celebration, and Service
Minnesota Campus Compact members organized a variety of thoughtful programming during the week of January 17, 2017, celebrating the legacy of Dr. King, learning about current issues of race and justice in our state, and showcasing the plethora of options students have to engage with their communities. Here’s a small sample of activities:
Augsburg College held its 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. This year’s theme was “Renewing King’s Call for Social Justice, Equality, and Inclusion, in an Age of Demagoguery.” The keynote speaker was Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds, a civil rights attorney and legal scholar on issues of race, public policy, and economic justice. The convocation also featured local artists such as singers and musicians.
Bemidji State University organizers screened the critically acclaimed film Selma. Dr. John Ellis opened the event with a lecture on the historical context of the film. After the film, Dr. Rucha Ambikar, professor of sociology, led a question and answer session as well as expounding on the legacy of the civil rights movement.
The Macalester community gathered for a Campus Conversations series to “encourage dialogue and reflection about the state of our divided nation and world.” Organized in partnership with numerous departments and offices, over 60 conversations were held in the form of open classes, workshops, and reflection spaces.
MCTC held a series of events on Friday and Saturday dedicated to community engagement. Friday’s activities consisted of service projects including making blankets and sandwiches, a ceremony honoring ancestors, a drum performance, and a community mural. Saturday’s program included a breakfast, music performance, and much more. All events were open to students, their families, and friends.
South Central College hosted the Faribault Diversity Coalition’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast. The Diversity Collation tapped the school in part to enjoy the newly renovated campus’s space and make room for growing participation. The event featured an interfaith prayer in two languages, a keynote from the first Somali family to resettle in Minnesota, and remarks from South Central’s President Annette Parker.
Minnesota State University, Mankato organized an MLK Day of Service focused on fostering connections between campus and community. Activities included a blood drive sponsored by the Crossroads Lutheran Campus Ministry and card writing for those in area nursing homes and at Gillette’s Children’s Hospital. Participation this year was almost double the number in 2016.
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities’ 36th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute took place on Thursday at Ted Mann Concert Hall. The event featured V. Bozeman, Grammy nominated singer and actress on Empire. The concert included performances from other artists including the U of M’s jazz band and DJ Miss Brit. The concert was free of charge and open to the public.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota hosted a range of performances and lectures on its Winona campus over the course of the week, including Tall Paul, an Anishinaabe and Oneida hip hop artist, and motivational speaker Dr. Tommy Watson speaking on hope and “moving forward together.” The week’s activities also included a drum performance, a collection for the Winona Food Shelf, and much more.
Gustavus Adolphus College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration focused on a lecture by Professor Jonathan L. Walton. The keynote address “It Was All a Dream. . .” examined the role of faith, moral imagination, and more in ethical thought and the public protests of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hamline’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration and Day of Service theme was “King on Campus, King in the Community.” The program featured performances by the Hamline gospel choir and local artists, along with remarks from President Fayneese Miller. Faculty, students and staff participated in service opportunities at six local community organizations.