Established in 1985, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Series intends to celebrate the life and accomplishments of MLK by engaging the Vanderbilt community in city-wide events, community service activities and on-campus lectures. All activities center around the ideals of peace and social justice to which MLK dedicated his life.

Friday, Jan. 13–Sunday Jan. 16

MLK Weekend of Action

Hosted by the Office of Active Citizenship and Service, this weekend encourages action and reflection honoring the contributions of MLK. Currently registered projects includes distribution of toiletries to YWCA’s Dress for Success Program, distribution of books to low-income children through the Books for Nashville Kids program and preparation of snack packs through the Nashville Rescue Mission.

Saturday, Jan. 14

10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

YWCA’s Dress for Success Program. 8-12 volunteers needed

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Book ‘Em. 5-20 volunteers needed

11:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Nashville Rescue Mission. 5-30 volunteers needed

Monday, Jan. 16

10 a.m. Nashville Freedom March

Leaves from Commons at Murray Circle and main campus at Kirkland Circle. Buses depart at 9:15 a.m. and take students to Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church and 28th Avenue North.

11:30 a.m – 4 p.m. Nashville Freedom Ride

Leaves from Branscomb Circle and will conduct a tour of sites significant to the Civil Rights movement in Nashville.

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 

A symposium focusing on how increasing knowledge of oneself and others as well as improving skills relating to cultural and intercultural competence allows us to further MLK’s fight for social justice. RSVP event.

Afternoon Teach-Ins

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Teach In (A) | Exploring American Traditions | Associate Dean Dr. Frank E. Dobson, Jr. | Sarratt Cinema

Focuses on examining historical narratives as well as current discussion about race. Offers the idea of “relinquishment” as a basis for possible reconciliation.

Teach In (B) | Justice for All | Dr. Lisa Guenther | Divinity School Reading Room

Examines the disparities between the current criminal justice system and ideals of social justice discussed by MLK as well as other current prison reform activists.

Teach In (C) | From Twitter to Streets: Activism in a Social Media Age | Briana Perry, Erin Logan and Mac Ploetz | Ingram Commons Multipurpose Room

Explores the importance of social media activism. In the wake of the Ferguson uprising and the Black Lives Matter movement, social media outlets such as Twitter have proved vital in spreading the activist message. The session explores how this social media activism will continue to connect people in the wake of local and global events.

2:45 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Teach In (D) | Stand(ing) your Ground: Pursuing Justice in the Long Haul | Dr. Phillis Sheppard | Ingram Commons multipurpose room

Discusses the idea of justice as a spiritual path as well as the idea of understanding the emotions behind social justice movements.

Teach In (E) | Let’s Talk About Race | Dr. Sheila Peters | Divinity School Reading Room

Provides a safe space to discuss racial stereotypes and the importance of advocating for a society where difference is appreciated.

Teach In (F) | Intersectional Organizing on College Campuses |Kyndall Clark, Program Coordinator, African American Policy Forum and Cherrell Brown, Director of Community Engagement, African American Policy Forum | Sarratt Cinema

Traces the history of black women’s student activism and identifies starting points for change at Vanderbilt.

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

BCC Art Exhibit Opening Reception | Beauty for Ashes, Collage and Assemblage by Kamal al Mansour | BCC Auditorium

This exhibition displays the path to portraying the beauty of African American culture in the United States.

6:30 p.m.

MLK Commemoration: American Democracy? Revolutionizing our American Myths| Langford Auditorium

Keynote address by Kimberlé Crenshaw, law professor at UCLA and Columbia Law School. Crenshaw’s work has been critical in two fields she has titled Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. Crenshaw frequently lectures on matters of race to both national and global audiences. Tickets are free and available for pick up at Sarratt Box Office.

Information from: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk/

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