Rutgers-Camden to Explore MLK’s Legacy in Virtual Speaker Series

Feature photo of Chancellor Dr. Antonio Tillis courtesy of Rutgers University-Camden

AC JosepH Media

CAMDEN — Rutgers University–Camden will go ‘beyond the dream’ to explore Martin Luther King Jr.’s lasting imprint on society with a virtual speaker series – the first of its kind in the university’s history – during the month of January.

Register at the event page. A Zoom link will be emailed to registered guests.

“After speaking with students, we realized the need to expand our focus when recognizing and remembering the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” says Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis. “To that end, our speakers will go beyond King’s iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech to offer a deeper understanding of King and the civil rights movement.”

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Kendra Boyd, an assistant professor of history at Rutgers–Camden, will lead a roundtable discussion on the contributions of women in the civil rights movement from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. EST Tuesday, Jan. 18.

“Often, when we think about the civil rights movement, we think of men, but we forget about the invaluable contributions of women who supported and walked alongside King,” notes Nyeema Watson, vice chancellor for diversity, inclusion and civic engagement at Rutgers–Camden.

Dr. Nyeema Watson, Rutgers University-Camden

Jesse Bayker, research project manager and digital archivist for the Scarlet and Black Project at Rutgers University, will discuss how the work of King and the civil rights movement helped to create an equal rights platform for the LGBTQ+ community from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. EST Thursday, Jan. 20.

Cornelia Dimalanta, Lumbee tribe member and director of the Philadelphia-based Native American House Alliance, will speak about the influence the civil rights movement had on Indigenous activism from 11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Clayborne Carson, the Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor, Emeritus at Stanford University, who founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford, will deliver the keynote address, discussing King’s legacy as it relates to social, economic and political challenges that Americans continue to face today, from 11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. EST Monday, Jan. 31.

“These are issues, such as voters’ rights legislation, race relations and workers’ rights, that Dr. King dedicated himself to during his lifetime, but still exist today,” says Watson.

The speaker series was initially planned to accompany Rutgers University–Camden’s annual participation in the national MLK Day of Service, but in-person events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more updates, visit Rutgers University’s university-wide COVID-19 information website.

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