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2016 Schedule of Events

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Vanderbilt University Commemoration
January 18, 2016

Apathy to Action: Activism, Allyship and Anti-Racism

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

In our nation today, there is a call to action. That call has been articulated in school classrooms, on college campuses and across America.  The images of that call are indelible, as slogans such as  “Black Lives Matter,” and names such as “Mizzou” conjure up recent media coverage of protests and controversies.  Our theme for MLK Day is thus a timely response, a call for us to come together to discuss how we, as a community, can respond to the clear need for activism and allyship in the continuing fight against injustice of all kinds.

Schedule of Events

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

Friday, January 15th

MLK Kickoff featuring Becca Stevens and Marcus Hummon
12:00 p.m. • Benton Chapel

“What does freedom Look like”
This gathering will ring in the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration and feature singing by inversion with Marcus Hummon, Grammy Award winning artist and a call to action by Rev. Dr. Becca Stevens, founder and president of Thistle Farms and Episcopal Affiliated Chaplain here at Vanderbilt.

Marcus Hummon and the ‘Inversion Choir’ will be performing two songs from ‘Frederick Douglass: The Making Of An American Prophet’. Songs performed will include ‘A More Perfect Union’ and ‘What Does Freedom Look Like?’

MLK Kickoff Reception
1:00 p.m. • Black Cultural Center
Come out and enjoy great soul food and fellowship as we officially kick off the MLK Commemoration.

Chancellor’s Lecture Series
Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Bryan Stevenson -- credit Nina Subin

Photo by Nina Subin

Reception and Book Signing
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Langford Auditorium Lobby

Lecture
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Langford Auditorium

Friday-Sunday, January 15-17


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 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 18th

10:00 a.m.
Nashville Freedom March
Leaving from The Ingram Commons at Murray Circle and Kirkland Circle (Breakfast Refreshments)
Buses for the 2016 Freedom March arrive for pick up at 9:15 a.m. at Kirkland Circle and Murray Circle in The Ingram Commons. The buses depart campus at 9:30 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 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.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 p.m. – 4:00 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 Ella Jeans Café (2116 Meharry Blvd., Nashville, TN)
1:00-4:00 p.m.  • Tour by Kwame Lillard and Sandra Brown

11:30 a.m.
MLK Lunchtime Symposium • Student Life Center Board of Trust Room
Colorblindness Was Not the Dream: MLK, Black Lives Matter and the Struggle for Racial Equity
Tim Wise

Introduction by Justin Hua
In this presentation, Tim Wise examines the watering down of Martin Luther King’s message – one of racial equity, economic justice and color-conscious initiatives to promote real democracy – and the way in which this distortion of his message impedes the struggle for equity and justice in the twenty-first century. Wise reclaims and insists that we all recognize the radical King, not the safe, moderate secular saint peddled to the masses every January by persons most of whom never supported King while he was alive. To commemorate Dr. King while failing to stand up firmly against militarism, poverty, structural racism and economic inequity is to demean his legacy. In this presentation, Tim Wise explains how students can truly continue the struggle of which King was a part.

For full bio please visit our website at www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk.

In-Conjunction Activity

12:00 p.m.
Rising Above the Scars:
My Journey to Overcoming Adversity and how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s Teachings Mirror my Journey
Dr. Rita K. Adeniran, President and CEO of Innovative and Global Solutions
Vanderbilt School of Medicine and School of Nursing
208 Light Hall
Lunch served first come, first served. Free and open to the public.
For full bio please visit our website at www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk.
School of Nursing and Medical School Keynote Speaker (In conjunction activity)
Afternoon Service Opportunities with the School of Nursing and Medical School following Speaker.

For full bio please visit our website at www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk.

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)
Check Your Privilege 2.0
Dr. Sheila Peters
Location:  Sarratt Cinema
This teach-in will focus on the microinsults and microaggressions that we commit in our daily interactions within our human experience. Privilege in our human interactions empowers to rise above the insults and dehumanizing behaviors. Participants will address how privilege belittles others and restricts open dialogue. In addition, participants will address how to use privilege to provide leadership in the fight for social justice.

Teach In (B)
South African Campuses in Color
Dr. Clive Mentzel
Location:  Divinity School Reading Room
This teach-in will focus on racial issues on South African Campuses, the dynamics between students of varying color, symbolism and reality, what real transformation means and how South African students mobilize to make transformation a reality after centuries of apartheid.  The session will utilize real-life case studies and reflection on current events in academic settings to delve into comparative social change in a country ravaged and traumatized by the ongoing effects of centuries of discriminatory practices in comparable institutional settings.  The primary objective of this session is to provide greater understanding of the experiences of black students to perhaps improve the university goal of a more inclusive campus culture.

Teach In (C)
Vanderbilt in Black and White
Dr. Rosevelt Noble
Location:  Ingram Commons MPR
This teach-in will focus on racial issues at Vanderbilt, more specifically the dynamics between black and white students.  The session will utilize a plethora of information from the Lost in the Ivy research project such as video clips (seniors and alumni), the alumni survey and other historical artifacts.  Additionally, the session will be interactive by engaging the audience through enlightened discussion and real time survey responses using Poll Everywhere.  The primary objective of this session is to provide greater understanding of the experiences of black students to perhaps improve the university goal of a more inclusive campus culture.

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Teach In (D)

How to Talk About Race, Part II
Greg Fontus
Ingram Commons-MPR
This teach-in will be an interactive discussion to deepen the level of authentic dialogue about race. It is designed to help individuals develop a broad and comprehensive understanding of race by building an awareness of how societal constructs influence the race conversation. Individuals should walk away feeling empowered to engage in these crucial conversations.

Teach In (E)
Spiritual Activism
Dr. Katherine Baker, Associate Director, Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership
Location:  Divinity School Reading Room

This teach-in will explore a “radical spirituality for a radical generation,” a spirituality that joins contemplation and action, mysticism and prophecy, to inspire and empower young agents of social justice. Vocation, spiritual practices and new forms of activism will be considered through conceptual discussions and practical exercises. Join us to explore your prophetic possibilities.

Teach In (F)
In Honor of Disruption: Civil Disobedience and the Makings of a Movement
Carlin Rushing and D.J. Hudson
Location:  Sarratt Cinema
The sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement and the die-ins of the Black Lives Matter movement illustrate the centrality of civil disobedience within social movements. These acts of intentional disruption show the productive disturbance that protest creates. Through interactive discussion and activities, participants will leave with an authentic understanding of how civil disobedience is essential for just social change.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Reflections on Service and Social Justice •
OACS Lounge (305 Sarratt/Rand)
Office of Active Citizenship and Service (OACS)

Students, faculty and staff who dedicated time to service over the weekend are invited to reflect with us on their experiences through the lens of our great social justice leaders.

For more info please link to: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/oacs/mlkweekendofservice/

4:10 – 5:10 p.m.
In-Conjunction Activity

A Promise to Keep: Educating Our Highest Risk Students
Dr. Julie A. Washington
Room 241, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/One Magnolia Circle Building
Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Education @ Communication Disorders
Program Director, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Georgia State University

Register at: vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/events

MLK Keynote Address by Rev. James Lawson

Tickets are free and available through the Sarratt Cinema Box Office

6:30 p.m.
Welcome and introduction by Assistant Dean Dr. Frank Dobson – Langford Auditorium

6:35 p.m.
Candlelight Vigil
Join us for an inspirational interfaith service that bears witness to the shining light that 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 Taylor McMahan, Black Student Association President and Elizabeth Shahnasarian, Vanderbilt Student Government President

MLK Keynote: Rev. James Lawson
Lawson, once dubbed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as “the leading nonviolence theorist in the world,” studied the Gandhian movement in India before becoming a leader in the civil rights movement. His life – including his student years at Vanderbilt – has been marked by an abiding faith in Christianity and non-violence, and a willingness to pay the price for those beliefs. He served 13 months of a three-year prison sentence for refusing the draft during the Korean War, and was expelled from Vanderbilt in 1960 because of his work helping to desegregate lunch counters in downtown Nashville.  After a national press uproar and threats of mass faculty resignations, a compromise allowed Lawson to complete his graduate studies at Vanderbilt. He opted instead to complete his degree at Boston University.

Lawson went on to a career in the ministry, serving for 25 years as pastor of Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, before becoming pastor emeritus in 1999. He returned to Vanderbilt Divinity School in 1970-71 during a sabbatical, and that school recognized him in 1996 with its first Distinguished Alumnus Award. The Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni named Lawson the 2002 Walter R. Murray Distinguished Alumnus, and he was named Vanderbilt’s 2005 Distinguished Alumnus.
In Conjunction Activities

Monday, January 18th

12:00 p.m.

Rising Above the Scars:
My Journey to Overcoming Adversity and how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s Teachings Mirror My Journey
Dr. Rita K. Adeniran, President and CEO of Innovative and Global Solutions
Vanderbilt School of Medicine and School of Nursing
208 Light Hall
Lunch served first come, first served. Free and open to the public.

For full bio please visit our website at www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk.


4:10-5:10 p.m.
A Promise to Keep: Educating Our Highest Risk Students

Dr. Julie A. Washington
Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Education @ Communication Disorders
Program Director, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Georgia State University

Room 241, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/One Magnolia Circle Building

Register at: vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/events

Wednesday, January 20th
12:05 PM
The System is Working the Way It’s Supposed To: The Limits of Criminal Justice Reform
Professor Paul D. Butler, Georgetown Law School
Vanderbilt Law School’s Flynn Auditorium
Please contact Antoinette.bolden@vanderbilt.edu or 615.322.9800.
Box lunches available and this event is free and open to the public

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.