MLK Week activities to highlight the 'Forgotten Ones'

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January 14, 2019

Traci West

 Traci West

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University will honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a number of events Jan. 19-26.

“The Accessibility of MLK’s Dream: The Forgotten Ones” was selected as the theme “to bring to light the people who historically or currently were invisible, silenced or forgotten because they weren’t part of contemporary (to the time) awareness of people,” said Brandyn Woodard, director of Intercultural and International Student Services and coordinator of Intercultural LEAD at CSB and SJU.

“We’re wanting to highlight the necessity for all of us to be more vigilant in ‘seeing’ and ‘remembering’ folks who have been part of the common narrative,” Woodard added.

 Traci West will deliver the MLK Week Convocation at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at Escher Auditorium, Benedicta Arts Center, CSB. West, the James W. Pearsall Professor of Ethics and African-American Studies at Drew University Theological School in Madison, New Jersey, will speak on “Hate Harms: Remembering Why We Remember the Civil Rights Movement” on MLK Day.

West noted that people are often overwhelmed by deepening political divisions and moral conflicts, “especially the increased public expressions of hate and intolerance regarding race, religion, sexuality and national identity,” she said.

“As we seek inspiration and hope from recalling the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. and other organizers of the civil rights movement, we must remember why they stood up against hate and social injustice,” West said. “We must remember how they refused to allow our nation to ignore the harmful consequences that injustice inflicts on the everyday lives of vulnerable people.”

West is the author of “Disruptive Christian Ethics: When Racism and Women’s Lives Matter” (2006); “Wounds of the Spirit: Black Women, Violence and Resistance Ethics (1999) and editor of “Our Family Values: Same-sex Marriage and Religion (2006). She is also written articles on violence against women, racism, clergy ethics, sexuality and other justice issues in church and society.

In 2016, West received the inaugural Walter Wink Scholar Activist Award from Auburn Seminary, which recognizes “God’s troublemakers” and those whose scholarship makes a tangible, real difference to advance justice and peace in our world.

Please note that the class schedules at CSB and SJU will be shortened this day to allow for attendance at the convocation.

  • The CSB/SJU student organization RAD (Reflection, Action, Dialogue) will present “Drowning Voices: Can You Hear Me?” at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at room 204, Gorecki Center, CSB. The RADsters will present a story of exclusion and ask audience members to practice changing the outcome.

Lorena Roffé and Stephane Gué, who are CSB/SJU Guatemala study abroad program faculty and professional activist theater practitioners, will join the group. They are founders of Multiplication and Exploration of the Theater of the Oppressed in Central America, and in Spanish means “It’s my turn (to act)” and “(reality) touches me.”

  • A documentary, “Outlier: The Story of Katherine Johnson” will be shown at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at room 264, Quadrangle Building, SJU. Johnson, an African-American mathematician who graduated from college at age 18, went on to become a physicist, space scientist and mathematician for NASA.

Johnson was one of the primary characters in the 2016 film, “Hidden Figures.”

The documentary, produced by MotionMasters, is shown in collaboration with the CSB/SJU Mathematics Department.

Other events during the week include:

  • The Joint Events Council presents spoken word poet Carlos Andres Gomez at 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Brother Willie’s Pub, SJU. Gomez is the author of the memoir “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood” and is a star of HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and Spike Lee’s movie, “Inside Man.”
  • The St. Cloud Chapter of the NAACP is hosting its annual fundraiser, “The Freedom Fund Banquet,” at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at the River’s Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud. Those interested in attending must fill out this form by 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16.
  • The Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast and Day of Service begins at 7:15 a.m. at the River’s Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud. Space is limited at the event, and interested persons need to sign up here.
  • CSB Campus Ministry presents a “Syrian Refugee Reflection Journey” from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 at room 204C, Gorecki Center, CSB. This interactive experience will highlight the Syrian refugee experience through another lens and how it relates to civil rights, human rights and remembering the forgotten ones.
  • A number of faculty and staff members from CSB and SJU will present an MLK Week Teach-In from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, on both campuses. The sessions will cover a variety of topics related to the themes of the week, West’s convocation speech, civil rights and MLK. For a complete schedule of Teach-In events, click here and scroll down to Wednesday's activities.
  • The Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement and CSB Sustainability present “Climate Justice for the Beloved Community” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at room 204B, Gorecki Center, CSB. This event focuses on the many intersections of social, racial and environmental justice that MLK and others fought for and another passing, salient topic: climate change.
  • The Joint Events Council presents the film “Saturday Church” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at Alumnae Hall, Haehn Campus Center, CSB. The movie tells the story of Ulysses, a 14-year-old boy who finds himself coping with new responsibilities as the “man of the house” following the death of his father. He’s also struggling with questions about his gender identity.