Catholic priest to deliver keynote speech for MLK Week activities

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January 10, 2018

A number of events are planned at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University for the celebration of the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jan. 15-18.

Bryan Massingale PictureThe Rev. Bryan Massingale, a professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University and a Catholic priest, will deliver the keynote speech for the week at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, at Escher Auditorium, Benedicta Arts Center, CSB.

His talk, “Redeeming the Soul of America: The Challenge of King’s Vision to the Faith Community,” is free and open to the public.

Massingale is a consultant to many faith-based justice organizations. He has served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.

He is also the author of the book, “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church.” The book examines the presence of racism in America from its early history through the Civil Rights Movement and the election of President Barack Obama. It also explores how Catholic social teaching has been used – and not used – to promote reconciliation and justice.

Other events are scheduled throughout the week (please note that events on Jan. 15 and Jan. 17 require pre-registration). They include:

Monday, Jan. 15

St. Cloud State University is hosting an MLK Breakfast from 8-10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15. CSB and SJU students interested in getting a ride to the event must complete this Forms Manager (the bus leaves SJU’s Sexton Commons at 7 a.m. and CSB’s Gorecki Center at 7:15 a.m., and returns after the event). You must also register for the breakfast. The breakfast will feature a keynote address by Sheyann Webb Christburg, civil rights activist and acclaimed author, and a vibrant community dialogue led by St. Cloud Community Champions at each table.

A faculty-led teach-in will be held from 8:55 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at both CSB (room 324, Main Building; and room A130, Benedicta Arts Center) and SJU (room 102, Art Center; the Alcuin Library Auditorium; and room 269, Peter Engel Science Center). Faculty members from political science, history, English, theology, biology, peace studies and philosophy will make presentations during the day. View the schedule here.

CSB President Mary Dana Hinton and SJU President Michael Hemesath will hold a conversation about what it means to be an inclusive community, and learn about the institutions’ next steps toward that goal. The conversation is from 3-4:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at room 204, Gorecki Center, CSB. Those planning to attend this session are asked to consider reading the article, “Replacing the Cracked Mirror: The Challenge for Diversity and Inclusion,” by Johnnella E. Butler, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Spelman College, before attending the conversation.

Wednesday, Jan. 17

A poverty simulation will be held from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, at room 204, Gorecki Center, CSB. Please RSVP to participate in the simulation, as space is limited. The poverty simulation is an interactive experience that sensitizes community participants to the realities of poverty.

Thursday, Jan. 18

Ashlee Haze PicturePoet and spoken word artist Ashlee Haze performs at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 at Brother Willie’s Pub, SJU. Earning the nickname “Big 30" because of her consistency in getting a perfect score, she is one of the most accomplished poets in the sport of poetry slam and is a four-time poetry slam grand champion. She will offer another perspective and awareness of how King’s work is still ongoing.

CSB/SJU assistant professors of theology Laura Taylor and Chris Conway will present “Shaped by Faith: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at Brother Willie’s Pub. They will explore the intersection between faith and political action, looking in particular at how King’s faith inspired, sustained and deepened his commitment to racial justice and equality.

Event sponsors

The sponsors for the week’s activities include Academic Affairs, CSB Campus Ministry, CSB President’s Office, CSB Student Development, CSB Sustainability Office, the Cultural Affairs Board, Intercultural and International Student Services, Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture, SJU Campus Ministry, SJU President’s Office, SJU Student Development, Student Activities and Leadership Development and the Theology Department.