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Higher Ed Prepares to Celebrate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Higher Ed Prepares to Celebrate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

Liann Herder
January 11, 2023
Dr. Kelisha B. Graves remembers being a young student in public school, looking forward to the third Monday of every January as a day off.
“Every King holiday is a day out of school, without intentional reflection,” said Graves. “At The King Center, we always say that the King holiday is a day on, not a day off. It’s a day of not just reflection but concrete action. You can never take a break from social justice work.”
Graves is the chief research, education and program officer at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, a nonprofit organization founded by King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, as a living memorial to King’s philosophies and dedication to progress. This time of year, The King Center is buzzing with activity, coordinating and leading celebrations of King’s life next Monday.
That activity is mirrored at institutions of higher education and educational organizations, where King’s lessons of resistance to what he called the “triple evils,” poverty, war, and racism, align with postsecondary missions.
“Higher education institutions are the engines of change in our society, premier hubs for knowledge production,” said Graves. “They have an outsized role to play in terms of advancing the legacy of Dr. King and Mrs. Coretta Scott King.”
King’s alma mater, Morehouse College, an all-male Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Atlanta, GA, is hosting several events between Jan. 16 and 31, including lecture and conversation series featuring speakers of national and international importance. Journalists Toluse Olornnipa and Robert Samuels will discuss their new book, His Name is George Floyd, connecting the past with the present.
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