Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

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The annual lecture was first held in 1986. Speakers are champions of civil rights and non-violence; their work, and the work of their organizations, reflects the same principles advocated by Dr. King. Over the years, a number of the lecturers have worked directly with Dr. King.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture was instituted by the Peace Studies program at Gustavus Adolphus College to honor the legacy of Dr. King. Initially housed solely in Peace Studies, the lecture typically did not occur on the national holiday honoring Dr. King.  Since 2010 the lecture has been a cooperative campus effort and held on the annual day of remembrance.

  


 

 

Past Speakers

Year Presenter
2016 Dr. Rashad Shabazz, associate professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University, "Why Geography Matters in the Struggle for Racial Justice"
2015 Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, President and Co-founder of the Washington Consulting Group and the Social Justice Training Institute 
2014

Diane Nash, Key figure of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, “Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement”

2013

Dr. Cathy J. Cohen, Professor of Political Science, U. of Chicago. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Age of Obama: Building a New Movement for the 21st Century”

2012

Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize winning author, arguably the preeminent biographer of King, “Myths and Miracles for the King Years”

2011

Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr., Co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating committee in 1960

2010

Rev. C.T. Vivian, Close Friend and Lieutenant of Dr. King during the civil rights movement

2009

Dr. Henry Williams, Laird Bell Professor of History at Carleton College

2008

Mixed Blood Theatre performance and homily by Dr. Bill Green

Nonviolence for an Age of Terrorism Dr. David Cortright, Fourth Freedom Forum

2007

Stories of Loss, Hope, and the Power of Nonviolent Activism, September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

2006

Sal y Luz: Peace churches in Colombia Representatives from the churches

2005

Major Brent Beardsley, Eyewitness to the Rwandan Genocide and former Canadian peacekeeper

2004

William Greaves African American filmmaker on the life of Ralph Bunche

2003

Living With the Other Dr. Miroslav Volf, Croatian theologian, Yale

2002

Dr. Philip Bryant, Associate Professor of English, Gustavus Adolphus College

2001

Dr. John Wright, Professor of English and African American Studies, University of Minnesota

2000

Martin Luther King III, son of Martin Luther King Jr.

1999

Dr. Bill Green (GAC ’72) Professor of History, Augsburg College, MN. Former Chair of Minneapolis School Board

1998

Charles Rankin, Professor of Education, Kansas State U.

1996

Dr. Michael Harper, Professor of English, Brown University. Poet Laureate of Rhode Island

1995

Arun Gandhi, Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, TN. Grandson of Mohandas Gandhi

1994

Cornell West, Professor, Princeton University; Prominent Public intellectual

1993

Bernice Reagon, “Sweet Honey in the Rock” Gospel Group

1991

Dorothy Cotton, Founding Member of Southern Christian Leadership Conference

1990

Dr. Bernard Powers, Professor of History N.E. Illinois, University of Chicago

1989

Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. Close Associate of MLK Jr., Director of Peace Education at Gustavus from 1974-1977.

1987

Dr. Richard Green, Superintendent of Minneapolis Schools

1986

Vivian Jenkins Nelson, Hubert Humphrey Institute, Director of Administration

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