Ursinus Commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ursinus will host a week’s worth of events to further advance his vision of equality. Martin Luther King Week will kick off Monday, Jan. 17 with an ecumenical service at noon in Bomberger Hall, followed by a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. in Unity House. Later, at 7:30 p.m. in Bomberger, Dr. Nikitah Okembe-RA Imani will deliver a keynote address titled “Can You Hear the Sound of the Drum?” Okembe-RA Imani, a veteran of more than 18 years in the Black Nationalist and Pan-Africanist movements, will illuminate the ways in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a self-described “drum major for justice.”

The following day, Tuesday Jan. 18 at 5 p.m., Ursinus students will perform monologues about their experiences of diversity and difference in the Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater. The Diversity Monologues are meant to foster a community ethos that nurtures and appreciates diverse identities.

The week will continue with a panel discussion on “Race and the Sciences” on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at noon, led by Dr. Mark Ellison, Dr. Rebecca Kohn, and Dr. Lew Riley. Later that day at 7 p.m., there will be a showing of the film Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority. Mink was the first woman of color elected to Congress and co-author of the landmark legislation for gender equality in athletics and education, Title IX. Both events will take place in Musser Auditorium, Pfahler Hall.

On Thursday Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in Olin Hall, there will be a discussion titled “Freedom School: Classical Liberalism as the Foundation for Civil Rights” which will be led by Dr. Susanna Throop, Dr. Paul Stern, Dr. Greg Weight, and Rabia Harris, member of philosophy and religion faculty, and will explore the history of freedom in Western society.

Dr. Christian Rice will lead a discussion of Martha C. Nussbaum’s recent work Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities on Friday in Bomberger Conference Room at noon. The book criticizes current educational practices that attempt to mold economically productive workers instead of shaping students to be thoughtful and knowledgeable citizens. Nussbaum, who holds an honorary degree from Ursinus, is currently Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago.

Finally, the week will be capped off with a performance, “The Substance of Our Soul,” in the Kaleidoscope Lenfest Theater on Saturday Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. Ursinus students will perform song, dance, music, and oratory that are inspired by and further the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. –David Hysek 2011