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2017 Schedule of Events

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Vanderbilt University Commemoration
January 13-16, 2017

Justice and Democracy?
Revolutionizing our
American Myths

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Schedule of Events

For the most up-to-date information, visit www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk.

Friday, January 13th

MLK Kickoff Featuring Rev. Dr. Forrest Harris
The Politics of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The times in which we live in America require courage and politics worthy of the human spirit.
12:00 p.m. • Benton Chapel
MLK Kickoff Reception Following
1:00 p.m. • Divinity School Reading Room
Come out and enjoy great soul food and fellowship as we officially kick off the MLK Commemoration.

Friday-Sunday, January 13th-16th

 MLK Weekend of Action
OACS invites you to join the Vanderbilt community in a weekend of action and reflection as we honor the contributions of Rev. Dr. King in seeking justice and challenging the discourse on civil (dis)obedience. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to join us for projects that address specific community needs through intentional service and action. For more info please link to: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/oacs/mlkweekendofservice/

Monday, January 16th

10:00 a.m.
Nashville Freedom March
Leaving from The Ingram Commons at Murray Circle (sign up in Ingram House) and Kirkland Circle (Breakfast Refreshments).

Buses for the 2016 Freedom March arrive for pick up at 9:00 a.m. at Kirkland Circle and Murray Circle in The Ingram Commons. The buses depart campus at 9:15 a.m. and transport students to the Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church and 28th Avenue North. The march will start at 10:00 a.m., and will arrive at TSU’s Gentry Center at 12 Noon. Immediately after the march, buses will be available from 10:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. at the TSU’s Gentry Center to transport students back to campus.

To sign up for the March, please fill out the form here.

11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Nashville Freedom Ride
Leaving from Branscomb Circle

Nashville Freedom Rider Kwame Lillard will conduct a tour of significant sites in the civil rights movement in Nashville.

11:30-11:45     • Students check in at Branscomb
12:00 p.m.      • Lunch at Swett’s Restaurant, 2725 Clifton Ave, Nashville, TN 37209
1:00-5:00 p.m.  • Tour by Kwame Lillard and Sandra Brown

This is an RSVP event (priority given to Vanderbilt students), please contact Nadine.delarosa@vanderbilt.edu for more information.


11:30 a.m.
MLK Lunchtime Symposium
Intercultural Competence: How To Be An Effective Change Agent
Dr. Rosevelt Noble and Mr. Kevin Carter
Student Life Center Board of Trust
Room
This is an RSVP event; please sign up here 

This symposium will discuss how enhancing your self-knowledge, knowledge of others and bridging skills through intercultural competence allows you to further Dr. King’s legacy of proactive and compassionate social justice. Through this presentation, participants will have a better understanding of their own values, beliefs and behaviors and how these components shape their worldview (i.e., how they see the world, form opinions and judge others). Participants who attend will not only gain an awareness of intercultural competence, but also learn skills and tools to better relationships with individuals who they view as culturally different than themselves.

Introduction by Jaila Johnson ’17 and Jeremy Howard ’17.

In-Conjunction Activities

12:00 p.m.
Diversity and Inter-Professional Teamwork as it Relates to the Health Professions: Dave Gordon’s Perspectives
Dr. Dave Gordon, Dean of the College of Health Professions, University of Akron
208 Light Hall
Lunch served first come, first served. Free and open to the public.
School of Nursing and Medical School Keynote Speaker (In conjunction activity)
Afternoon Service Opportunities with the School of Nursing and Medical School following Speaker.

12:00 p.m.
2017 Vanderbilt Law School Memorial Lecture
Reflecting on Dr. King: Some Thoughts on Inequality in Unusual Times
Prof. Eleanor Brown
George Washington Law School
Vanderbilt Law School Flynn Auditorium
Boxed lunches available (first come-first served)
For more information contact Antoinette.bolden@vanderbilt.edu.

Afternoon Teach-Ins • 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Teach In (A)
Exploring American Traditions
Associate Dean Dr. Frank E. Dobson, Jr.
Location:  Sarratt Cinema
“Relinquishment: Troubling History, Troubling Rhetoric”
The purpose of this workshop is “trouble” or interrogate our shared history by examining historical narratives and current rhetoric around race and division. The purpose of the workshop is to point toward “relinquishment” (if that is possible) as a step toward true reconciliation.

Teach In (B)
Justice for All
Dr. Lisa Guenther
Location:  Divinity School Reading Room
The Thirteenth Amendment abolishes slavery “except as a punishment for crime.”  This exception made possible the creation of a convict leasing system, in which prisoners were forced to work without pay in life-destroying conditions, and it continues to this day in the form of private, for-profit prisons, and in extremely low or non-existent wages for prisoners in state and federal prisons.  In this session, we will examine the tensions and contradictions between our current criminal justice system and the principles of social justice espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and by present-day activists for prison reform and abolition.  We will also explore the possibilities for abolishing slavery in Tennessee today, with no exceptions.  

Teach In (C)
From Twitter to the Streets:  Activism in a Social Media Age
Briana Perry, Erin Logan, and Mac Pleoetz
Location:  Ingram Commons MPR

This teach-in will examine the relevance and necessity of social media activism. The Ferguson uprising, protests in other cities alike, and the burgeoning Movement for Black Lives have garnered widespread support largely because of coverage on social media outlets such as Twitter. Social media activism is relatively new terrain within movements, and this teach-in will explore how apps like Twitter and Facebook connect people and struggles throughout the world in ways that were not once possible.  

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Teach In (D)

Stand(ing) Your Ground:  Pursuing Justice is for the Long Haul
Dr. Phillis Sheppard

Location:  Ingram Commons MPR
The work of social transformation requires strategies and commitments that help us stay committed even when tired and weary. During this teach-in we will discuss three important elements to this work: First, we will take up for discussion the question: “how do we sustain our commitment, courage and hope in the work of justice?”; Second, when we are faced with injustice as a deep seeded aspect of social structures, it is common to become angry and ineffective. How do we understand anger as a response to injustice and as a catalyst to guide our actions and activism?; third, the work of justice is not just aimed at transforming the external world but is rather a path to also transforming each of us. Therefore, the pursuit of justice as spiritual path and in order to stay on the path we need spiritual practices that sustain us.

This teach-in will be informative and invite us to engage these questions and challenges together.

Teach In (E)
Let’s Talk About Race
Dr. Sheila Peters
Location:  Divinity School Reading Room
Is the racial climate in communities worsening or are some too sensitive when dialoguing about race?  How can we commit to difficult dialogues to move us beyond our racial differences? This session provides a safe space to respectfully address our racial stereotypes and how we can advocate for a society in which difference is a strength and appreciated in our discourse and our daily living.

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Teach In (F)
Intersectional Organizing on College Campuses
Kyndall Clark, Program Coordinator, African American Policy Forum
Cherrell Brown, Director of Community Engagement, African American Policy Forum
Location: Sarratt Cinema
Join the African American Policy Forum for a MLK Day Teach-in on Intersectional Organizing on College Campuses. This teach-in is designed to trace the herstories of Black women’s student activism and to identify the gateways for change at Vanderbilt. Students will walk away with a renewed understanding of intersectional student movements and with the tools and resources to further engage their fellow students, faculty, staff, and the university.

4:00-5:00 p.m.
BCC Art Exhibit Opening and Reception
Beauty for Ashes,
Collage and Assemblage by Kamal Al Mansour
BCC Auditorium
Despite the many recent (and repeated) events and episodes of oppression, repression, racism, injustice and inequality taking place in America, especially for Black people; we must look at the depth, beauty and power of our spirit and courage to endure and strive.  This exhibition, Beauty for Ashes presents both the ashes and a path to and portrayal of the beauty of our culture, which will always shine bright and never be dimmed.

 

MLK Keynote Address
Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw
Langford Auditorium

Tickets are free and available through the Sarratt Cinema Box Office

6:30 p.m.
Welcome and introduction by Associate Dean of Students, Dr. Frank E. Dobson, Jr.

6:35 p.m.
Candlelight Vigil
Join us for an inspirational interfaith service that bears witness to the shining light that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was in our world and to the continuing light of his legacy among us. Vanderbilt University and Divinity School students will lead this service. Thanks to Professor Rev. Dr. Dale Andrews and Assistant Dean Rev. Dr. Amy Steele for coordinating the planning of this service.

6:45 p.m.
MLK Middle and High School Essay Contest Winners’ Recital and Nashville’s “Spoken Word”

For complete essays and poems please visit our website at www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk.

7:00 p.m.
Welcome by Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos
Introductions by Jacqueline Cox, Black Student Association President and Ariana Fowler, Vanderbilt Student Government President

MLK Keynote: Prof. Kimberlé Crenshaw

Q and A
Esther Taati ’17, Kyla Stevens ’18, Musbah Shaheen ’17, Raegan Harrison ’20

In-Conjunction Events

Monday January 16th
12:00 p.m.
Diversity and Inter-Professional Teamwork as it Relates to the Health Professions: Dave Gordon’s Perspectives
Dr. Dave Gordon, Dean of the College of Health Professions, University of Akron
208 Light Hall
Lunch served first come, first served. Free and open to the public.
School of Nursing and Medical School Keynote Speaker (In conjunction activity)
Afternoon Service Opportunities with the School of Nursing and Medical School following Speaker.

12:00 p.m.
2017 Vanderbilt Law School Memorial Lecture
Reflecting on Dr. King: Some Thoughts on Inequality in Unusual Times
Prof. Eleanor Brown
George Washington Law School
Vanderbilt Law School Flynn Auditorium
Boxed lunches available (first come-first served)
For more information contact Antoinette.bolden@vanderbilt.edu.

February 2nd-24th
Invictus: 20 Works Celebrating African Americans’ Pursuit of Freedom and Will to Survive
Vanderbilt Divinity School Art Gallery, Room G-20 (Ground Floor)
Inspired by a Vanderbilt student who simply wanted to see more “positive” and uplifting images of African Americans in the public’s view, Invictus: 20 Works Celebrating African Americans’ Pursuit of Freedom and Will to Survive goes even beyond that.  The exhibition tells a story of African Americans’ continuous struggle for freedom and survival in this country using the language of visual art.  Its images begin with the death of Crispus Attucks at the Boston Massacre in 1770 and end with depictions of life in Boston’s black community near the end of the 20th century.  Some of the greatest master artists of the last century created these works, including John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Thomas Hart Benton, Marion Greenwood, John Wilson, and Charles White.  The exhibition was organized by Maya King, a junior in the College of Arts & Science and curated by Yollette Jones, associate dean in the College of Arts & Science.  It is sponsored by the Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture Program of the Vanderbilt Divinity School. 

We would like to thank all of our gracious sponsors. For a complete listing of sponsors as well as speaker bios and other information please go to our website at: www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk.

 


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