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MLK Week at Bucknell University is designed to support the institutional mission and uphold Dr. King's mission to foster critical thinking, educate toward ethical leadership and enact social justice. Following a year of mass organizing, community building and heightened awareness of the injustices people of color face in the United States, the MLK Week Committee thought it was important to take time to reflect on lessons we can gain from resistance movements. There is a great deal we must be attentive to as we work to undo racist systems and create more just communities.
Due to the pandemic, MLK Week 2021 events were virtual and took place throughout the spring 2021 semester. An array of events were designed to raise awareness and empower participants to enact individual and community change.
Guests/Events for 2021 included:
MLK Day Student Snaptalks
Nationtime (William Greaves, 1972) Film at the Campus Theatre
Sponsored by the Bucknell Film Series
Judy Richardson, Civil Rights Activist - Webinar
MLK Multifaith Celebration
Sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
Rudolph Ware — Talisman Textualities: Afro-Islamic Epistemology in Medieval West Africa
Sponsored by the Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives and Cultures
Stono/Step Afrika Virtual Performance
Sponsored by the Weis Center for the Performing Arts
Amira Rose Davis - Race, Sports, and Protest
Sponsored by Women's and Gender Studies and CSREG
Soul Fire Farm - Uprooting Racism; Seeding Sovereignty
Co-sponsored by the Bucknell Farm, Lewisburg Community Garden, BCSE, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, MSS, Bucknell Environmental Club
Intergenerational Panel — Vaccine Availability and Increase in Violence Against Asian Americans
Spring Is Here: A Concert Series Celebrating Sonic Stories of Black Composers and Others
Sponsored by the Music Department
MLK Week 2020, "Time to Break the Silence," took place from Jan. 20 - 26 and included a community service fair and an array of events designed to raise awareness and empower participants to enact individual and community change. Guests for the week included:
Julian Agyeman — The legacy of MLK: Just Sustainabilities in Policy, Planning and Practice
Opal Tometi, co-founder of Black Lives Matters — Moderated Q & A
Toshi Reagon — Performance of Rock/Blues/Folk/Spirituals
Amanda Gorman — Poetry, Power, and Protest: Using Language to Live by MLK’s Values
Lois Moses and Company — Say That He Had More Than a Dream (Play)
Allison Miller, Boom Tic Boom — Performance of Contemporary Jazz
MLK Week 2020 was generously supported by the President's Office, the Provost's Office, the Freeman College of Management, the College of Engineering, the College of Arts & Sciences, the University Lectureship Committee, the Public Policy Endowment, the Africana Studies Program, the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Gender, and the Departments of Geography, Mechanical Engineering, Sociology & Anthropology, Women's & Gender Studies, Art & Art History and Religious Studies.
Bucknell’s 2019 Martin Luther King Jr Week brought scholars and activists to campus to engage the community in a conversation that reflects on Dr. King’s legacy and philosophies and considers them in the context of contemporary struggles.
The theme for this week was based on a quote by James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Guests for the week included:
Richard Boodie — The 1958 Visit of Martin Luther King Jr. to Bucknell: Impressions and Influences
Jason Sokol — The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Patrisia Macias-Rojas — From Deportation to Prison: The Politics of Immigration Enforcement in Post Civil Rights America
Nicholas Villanueva — Lynching of Mexicans in the Texas Borderlands
Ibram Kendi — Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Bucknell’s Martin Luther King Jr. Week 2018 brought various scholars to campus to engage our community in a conversation about Dr. King’s legacy and philosophies with regard to current struggle.
The week involved the charitable gift drive, the Beloved Community Dinner, an interfaith worship service and the lectures from the following guests:
Eddie S. Glaude — How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul
Khalid Latif — Rise Above Hate/I Am Not What Is Broken
Raffi Freedman-Gurspan — The Quest for Transgender Equality
Cornel West and Robert George — What is the Point of a Liberal Arts Education?
The 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Week brought to campus social justice leaders to discuss King’s legacy of peace and nonviolence. Including a charitable gift drive, a community dinner, and interfaith service and an array of events designed to bring awareness and empower participants to enact individual and community change, the guest speakers were:
Sharon Washington Risher — We Are Charleston: Triumph and Tragedy at Mother Emmanuel
Joseph Sebarenzi — God Sleeps in Rwanda
Arun Gandhi — Legacy of Love: My Education in the Path of Non-Violence
In 2016 the President’s Diversity Council presented a mini-series for MLK Week intended to engage our community in a conversation about Dr. King’ legacy and philosophies and the intractable and interrelated problems of violence, racism, and hatred.
The Violence of Hate theme was chosen in response to the growing frequency of violent events in our country. The week included a screening of A Force More Powerful: Nashville, We Were Warriors, the annual Beloved Community Dinner, “a Service for Peace and Justice” at Rooke Chapel and lectures and discussions from the following guests:
Haider Hamza — The Violence of War and Dr. King’s Philosophy
Mark Barden, Ian Hockley, Jeremy Richman, David Wheeler — Four Fathers, Four Journeys: Sandy Hook
Jack Levin — The Violence of Hate
Nyle Fort — Ferguson, Racism, Violence and the Necessity of Non-Violence
Rev. Jim Lawson — An Evening with Jim Lawson, the “Architect of Non-Violence In America”
Jennifer L. Pozner — How Media Instigate Gun Violence and Rape Culture
Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives & Cultures