January 16, 2023
On Campus

Celebrating Diversity

Wittenberg Faculty to Offer Expansive Schedule of Events to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The University will celebrate the life, legacy, and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a robust series of events presented by members of faculty and sponsored by Wittenberg’s Diversity Advisory Committee (DAC). Events are scheduled throughout the months of January and February.

“We are excited to see the rich range of topics and approaches to these events—from a hip-hop performance, to a science symposium, lectures and dialogues in a variety of disciplines, and a Day of Service sponsored by the Hagan Center on King's birthday,” said Lori Askeland, professor of English and DAC chair. “DAC encourages everyone to devote at least one session in their class to exploring the values, history, and issues that Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month seek to honor and pause on, and to do so in a way that is relevant to their discipline and course subject area.”

DAC encourages everyone to see inclusion and equity as year-round goals on campus.

“It's with that in mind that we especially feel the importance of honoring the heroic efforts of all those who fought to make Martin Luther King Jr's birthday a national holiday and fought to build and expand Black History Week to a full month. Wittenberg also acknowledges the work of historian Carter G. Woodson, and his goal of moving away from celebrating heroic individuals to identifying and exploring the crucial contributions of Black people to U.S. and world cultures,” Askeland added. “This is a great opportunity to devote time specifically to understanding the ways all of our lives, institutions, and disciplines are shaped by social structures created in the crucibles of extractive colonization and slavery, and how we might continue to strive for what King called ‘beloved community.’”

Relevant class session or events that will be open to the community include the following:

  • Monday, Jan. 16: The MLK Day of Service, hosted by the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement, will begin in Geil Lounge of the Benham-Pence Student Center at 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 17: “Brown is Almost 70! - The Legacy of the Landmark Supreme Court Ruling on the De-Segregation of Schools,” presented by Brian Yontz, interim provost and professor of education, via Zoom at 9:30 a.m. Please email byontz@wittenberg.edu for link.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 18: “Martin L. King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel: Collaboration for Liberation” will be presented during a class taught by Julius Bailey, professor of philosophy, at 9 a.m. in room 318 of Hollenbeck Hall. Chad White, of the United Theological Seminary, will be the guest speaker. Vanessa Plumly, assistant professor of languages, will present "Fasia Jansen: From Concentration Camp Forced Laborer to Post-WWII German Activist" in room 234 of Hollenbeck Hall from 1 to 1:50 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 19: Marlo Starr, assistant professor of English, will present "Fragments of an Epic Memory: Black Diasporic Poetry” in room 131 of Hollenbeck Hall from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. Billy Davis, associate professor of psychology, will present "The Psychology of American Racism" from 3 to 4 p.m. in Bayley Auditorium in the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center.
  • Friday, Jan. 20: Julius Bailey, professor of philosophy, will host a public dialogue with Chad White titled “What Does a Prophetic Religious Community Look Like?" beginning at 9 a.m. in room 105 of the Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning. Travis Proctor, assistant professor of religion, will host “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: Religion and Social Justice in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Speech” from 11 to 11:50 a.m. in room 262 of the Science Center. Kunal Chatterjee, assistant professor of biology, and Michelle McWhorter, associate professor of biology, will host a Martin Luther King, Jr. Week symposium at 2 p.m. in Bayley Auditorium in the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. The theme of the symposium will center on health issues facing marginalized communities in present day United States.
  • Monday, Jan. 23: DAC will host a dialogue with rapper Tronee Threat on “The Art of Living Ethically After Prison” during Professor of Philosophy Julius Bailey’s 103 Living Ethically class, at 9 a.m. in room 318 of Hollenbeck Hall. Threat will also do a hip-hop performance entitled "Who U Witt" later in the evening at Founders Pub beginning at 7 p.m.
  • Monday, Jan. 30: Scott Rosenberg, H. Orth Hirt Endowed Chair of History, will present the “Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Origins of Racism” at 11 a.m., in room 316 of Hollenbeck Hall.
  • Thursday, Feb. 16: Elena Dahl, associate professor of art, will host a screening of the film “Redlining:Mapping Inequality in Dayton and Springfield” from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Kissell Auditorium in Koch Hall.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 21: Julius Bailey, professor of philosophy, will host a talk on “The Black Church and The Civil Rights Movement” with Chad White at 2:30 p.m., in room 316 of Hollenbeck Hall.
  • Thursday, Feb. 23: Julius Bailey, professor of philosophy, will present “(LWB) Loving While Black: The Radical Politic of Soul” at 2:30 p.m., in room 316 of Hollenbeck Hall.

You can all view the entire list here.

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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