MLK Day (Red Day)

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day


January 20 @ 5:00 pm


Various Locations

Houghton celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. through educational programming and community celebration. No classes are held.


10am-11am – Chapel featuring Rev. Al Robinson and The Gospel Choir

1pm-4pm – Sankofa Stations of the Civil Rights Movement
All Stations Offered Every 30 Minutes (Locations listed between **) Pick 5

“Bail Money in Mississippi” with Rolly Kidder ‘62 – *Chapel Stage*

Join Rolly Kidder, Houghton class of ‘62, as he shares about seminary and pastoring in Chicago during the civil rights movement. What does it mean to be White, in the Church, and care about justice and inclusion? What did it cost? Can one person do anything? Come hear him reflect on questions like this and more.

“Agree to Disagree” with Dean Jordan – *Recital Hall*

In this session, we’ll talk about the history of the Wesleyan Church and the Civil Rights Movement and pay special attention to how the rhetoric of unity can be misused. Discussion led by Dean Jordan.

“Human Interest Story” with Ted Murphy – *CFA 300*

After watching clips from “Medium Cool,” we’ll discuss microaggression and macro concerns. How things have changed and not changed in film and media.

“Reflections on the 1960’s: An Interview with Nellie Brown” with Anna Pettway – *CFA 231*

In this session, Dr. Änna Pettway interviews Ms. Nellie Wakefield Brown about her experience living through the 1960s in Detroit, MI. Ms. Brown discusses her memories of Dr. King’s life and death, her reflections on the civil rights movement, and her thoughts on whether progress has been made for the Black community. Come and listen to the lived experience of what it was like to be a young Black woman during the time of Dr. King.

“Breaking the News: Robert Kennedy in Indianapolis on the Night of Rev. Dr. King’s Assassination” with Doug Gaerte – *CFA 145*

In April, 1968, the Presidential primaries were underway.  Robert Kennedy was on the campaign trail when he received word of Dr. King’s death.  In one of the most compelling impromptu speeches in American history, Kennedy breaks the news to a stunned crowd and draws upon King’s vision to help his audience process the tragic news from Memphis.

“I Am Somebody” with Jim Zoller – *CFA 303*

African American music of the civil rights era (1960s) asserted values of human rights directly. What were the assumptions and conditions that made these musical entertainments confrontational as well as entertaining? Selections from Aretha Franklin, Muddy Waters, and Jesse Jackson stake out the basic tenets of humanizing the race struggles. Videos, contextualization, and discussion led by Jim Zoller, Professor Emeritus.

“Lament” (Self-guided) – *Prayer Chapel*

This station is recommended to be the last stop. After you’ve gone through a few sessions, please take time to pause and reflect in this place. We often think mourning is a solitary and isolated event, but lament can be corporate and a healthy spiritual discipline. Featuring a written reflection from President Shirley Mullen. (Located in the basement of the chapel.)

5pm-7pm – Dining Hall Takeover featuring food from Mainline Buffalo

7pm-9pm – Jazz Performances and Read-In featuring the Sonder Trio (Van Dyk Lounge)

MLK Day would not be possible without the committee members of the Diversity Committee, Mosaic Center, Education department, SGA, Office of the Chapel, and key community members, faculty, staff, student volunteers, and alumni.

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