MLK Week 2022 graphic

Bucknell MLK Week Series to Reflect on King’s Legacy and Philosophies

January 13, 2022

by Mike Ferlazzo

Graphic by Bucknell Communications

Bucknell University will reflect upon the legacy and philosophies of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week. The series of lectures and events will encompass the theme "Mighty Causes Calling: Community, Coalition & Radical Revolution" and run from Jan. 17 through Feb. 3.

"Bucknell's​ ​Martin​ ​Luther​ ​King​ ​Jr.​ ​Week​ ​brings​ ​various​ ​scholars​ and artists ​to​ ​campus​​ ​to​ engage​ ​our​ ​community​ ​in​ ​a​ ​conversation​ ​about​ ​Dr.​ ​King's​ ​legacy​ ​and philosophies​ ​with​ ​regard​ ​to​ ​current​ ​struggles," says Cymone Fourshey, director of Bucknell's Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives & Cultures. "Events during this week include several performances, lectures and discussions designed to raise awareness and empower participants to enact individual and collective change."

Monday, Jan. 17, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and an official University holiday with no classes, but student livestream SnapTalks that afternoon will kick off the series.

Jamila Michener, an associate professor of government and public policy at Cornell University, will present the first MLK Week lecture, entitled "Confronting Racism, Strengthening Community, Sustaining Democracy" at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18 in the Elaine Langone Center (ELC) Forum (Room 272). Author of the award-winning book Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism, and Unequal Politics, Michener is associate dean for public engagement at the Brooks School of Public Policy, co-director of the Cornell Center for Health Equity, co-director of the Politics of Race, Immigration, Class and Ethnicity research initiative, and board chair of the Cornell Prison Education Program.

The new mayor of Lewisburg, Kendy Alvarez '06, will discuss her ancestors' wildest dreams during a talk at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, in the MacDonald Commons multipurpose room (Room 104). Alvarez will share how King's "I Have a Dream" speech was influential for her father's dream of emigrating from Trinidad to the U.S. when she was 5 years old.

American roots ensemble American Patchwork Quartet (APQ) will perform at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 23, at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts. APQ draws on a repertoire of centuries-old American folk songs that highlight the country's immigrant roots. Grammy-nominated vocalist Falu Shah, Grammy-winning guitarist/vocalist Clay Ross, three-time Grammy-winning drummer Clarence Penn and highly acclaimed bassist Yasushi Nakamura showcase the dynamic diversity of contemporary culture by reimagining timeless songs from America's past. As part of APQ’s residency, a 30-minute video montage that showcases the community as a "melting pot" of America will be shown at 3:20 p.m. in the Weis Center Auditorium. Tickets are required and may be purchased in advance by calling 570-577-1000 or online at

Valarie Kaur — a renowned civil rights leader, lawyer, bestselling author, award-winning filmmaker, educator and innovator — will present the MLK Week keynote address, entitled "See No Stranger: Revolutionary Love as the Call of our Times" at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 24, in the Weis Center. She leads the Revolutionary Love Project to reclaim love as a force for justice. A regular TV commentator and contributor to a number of national news outlets, Kaur is the daughter of Sikh farmers in California's heartland. Her debut book, See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love, was released in 2020 and expands on her popular TED Talk. Tickets are required for her lecture but are free and available to the general public beginning at 6 p.m. on Jan 24 at the campus box office at the Weis Center.

Ceramic sculptures and handcrafted dance garments by Bucknell graduate student Sierra Pete M'22, a member of Navajo Nation, will be displayed in the Weis Center Atrium from Friday, Jan. 28, through Thursday, Feb. 3, as part of the series. Pete's artist's talk will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1, in the Weis Center Atrium.

A complete schedule of events is available on the MLK Week webpage. Masking and social distancing guidelines will be in place for all events. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, details are also subject to change.

Martin Luther King Jr. Week is generously supported by the President’s Diversity Council and the Office of the Provost. The events are coordinated by the MLK Week Committee.