The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. will be commemorated at Colby College with events Jan. 10-15 on campus and in downtown Waterville. National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi will deliver a keynote address Jan. 15, and Colby’s President David A. Greene will be the featured speaker at the 32nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast in Waterville that same morning.
Kendi is an award-winning historian and New York Times bestselling author whose most recent book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Kendi is a leading scholar and activist who offers a challenging and insightful analysis of racism in the United States, both in his research and his leadership of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, where he teaches. Kendi will speak Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. in Ostrove Auditorium in Colby’s Diamond Building. The address is free and open to the public.
President Greene’s address is titled “Bending Towards Justice.” He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in education and social policy at Harvard, and his research interests include social and political movements and their influence on individuals and institutions. The event is open to the public, and tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for children age 12 and under. They can be purchased through Spectrum Generations.
“Martin Luther King Jr. and his collaborators worked toward some of our best social and political aspirations,” said Betty Sasaki, associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “At Colby, we celebrate Dr. King because his work and legacy continue to be an important challenge to us today .”
The theme for this year’s Colby events is “Where Do We Go From Here,” which comes from the title of one of King’s seminal works about the progress made in terms of civil rights. “But the ongoing urgency for our nation,” Sasaki said, “is to continue its efforts to fulfill his vision for a new era of equal rights for all people.”
Other events include a lecture titled “D.C., Democracy, and the Civil Rights Movement” with historian and author Chris Asch Jan. 12 at 4 p.m. in the Wormser Room of Miller Library.
There will also be a multi-faith celebration of King’s life and work Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. in Lorimer Chapel that will include songs from the movement, African drumming, and readings from King and the world’s traditions. The winner of the Drum Major for Justice Award will be announced as well. The award recognizes a campus member who has made a commitment to social justice.
The Colby Museum of Art will offer a family program Jan. 15 titled “What’s the Content of Your Character” in which children and adults are invited to embark on a guided tour of the museum’s exhibit Game Time followed by an opportunity to create their own trading cards in the museum’s Mirken Education Center. Participants can also join in the creation of a community quilt in the William D. Adams Gallery. The program is offered twice—10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Call 207-859-5620 to reserve your space.
The museum will also offer a private tour of Game Time with Lunder Curator of Whistler Studies Justin McCann from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The tour will focus on issues of civil rights and equality in sports.
Colby’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemorative events are sponsored by the College’s African-American Studies Program, Department of Athletics, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Office of the Provost, Office of the Dean of the College, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Cultural Events Committee, Pugh Community Board, Pugh Center, Student Government Association, and the MLK Day Commemorative Planning Committee.
For more information, contact the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at 207-859-4251.