January 14, 2016
Communications and Marketing
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 19 kicks off Saint Anselm College's annual month-long series of events honoring Dr. King's legacy. This year's dinner features keynote speaker Dr. Ivan Lamourt '86, assistant headmaster of St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, N.J.
"We tried to plan a variety of events for a diverse group of people," says Yemi Mahoney, director of the Multicultural Center and Education Services. "We want to make the dinner, in particular, a real community event and for programming, bring a lot of campus groups to the table."
The programming, titled "Let Freedom Ring from the Hilltop," is a reference to Dr. King's famous "I have a dream..." speech, in which he says, "So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire..." Events include a bias workshop, viewing of several films followed by discussions, a student-led retreat, an urban immersion service trip to Boston, and a lecture on cultural literacy.
The planning committee felt this year's celebration both reflects the positive change that has already occurred, and also provides an important reminder of social justice goals yet to be accomplished. They hope that these events will raise awareness, build community, educate and challenge, while also providing the Saint Anselm community with tools to promote social change.
Keynote speaker and alumnus, Dr. Lamourt, was featured in "The Rule," a documentary highlighting Newark Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in New Jersey, which applies tenets derived from the "Rule of St. Benedict" to its school: St. Benedict's Preparatory. In addition to speaking on Tuesday, Dr. Lamourt will also participate in a panel discussion on the documentary on Wednesday, Jan 20.
"I'm really excited about the message Dr. Lamourt will bring," says Mahoney. "Part of the discussion will include what it was like for him to be a student at the college several decades ago. He will also talk about how his experiences at Saint Anselm influenced who he is today and the work that he does."
During Tuesday night's dinner, the third annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Awards will be presented to two college community members who exhibit outstanding leadership, compassion, and courage as they work towards eliminating discrimination, oppression, and injustice.
Saint Anselm College students are involved in all facets of the programming, particularly in the student-led retreat, titled the "Preserving Unity Within Ourselves Retreat." This initiative brings together a diverse group of students to share experiences, build community, and showcase leadership skills.
"Last year, it was amazing how quickly they bonded," says Mahoney. "Relationships were built, strengthened, and because of that great experience, I continue to see the positive impact in the students."
Students interested in participating in the retreat should contact the Multicultural Center.
Full Schedule of Events
- Tuesday, Jan. 19, 5 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner (North Lounge, Cushing)
- Wednesday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m., Film and Discussion: "The Rule" (Dana Center, 1D)
- Tuesday, Jan. 26, 8:30 - 10 a.m., Implicit Bias Workshop "Hiding in Plain Site: how implicit biases hinder inclusion in selection and promotion strategies"
- Tuesday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m., Film and Discussion: "Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin"
- Tuesday, Feb. 2, 4 - 6 p.m., Film and Discussion: "A Place of Rage"
- Friday, Feb. 5 - Feb. 6, Preserving Unity Within Ourselves Retreat
- Friday, Feb. 12 - Feb. 13, Urban Immersion Trip to Boston
- Tuesday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m., Lecture by Professor Loretta Brady: Eggshells, Tears, Privilege: What Gets in the Way of Understanding Systemic Oppression and What Can we Do About It?
- Wednesday, Feb 24, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., Book Discussion: Between the World and Me
Campus Ministry, Core Council for GLBQ Students and Allies, Council on Being Benedictine, Diversity Workforce Coalition, English Department, Gender Studies, Geisel Library, Honors Program, Meelia Center for Community Engagement, Multicultural Center and Education Services, Multicultural Student Coalition, President's Steering Committee for Inclusiveness, Residential Life and Education, Sociology Department, Student Activities and Leadership Programs
Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee
India Barrows '16, Alexandra Castillo '16, Rachael Mahoney '18, Yemi Mahoney (Multicultural Center), Amabel Molina '19, Rebecca Senna (Multicultural Center), Mitch Steffey (Student Activities & Leadership), Donald Stokes, Jr. '17, Gwen Verkuilen-Chevalier (Geisel Library), Matt Waid (Residential Life)
Photo: Dr. Ivan Lamourt '86 with his wife and students at St. Benedict's Preparatory.