While spring semester classes at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University will not begin until Jan. 17, the day after the nation recognizes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, events are scheduled virtually and on each campus during the course of the week to recognize his legacy.
On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Dr. Kurt Hollender, visiting assistant professor of German, will conduct a lunch-and-learn webinar from noon-1 p.m. on the theory of the holiday. His session will be titled “The Artist and the Holiday: Stevie Wonder’s Role in Establishing MLK Day.” Taking off from Angela Davis’ work on the role of the artistic imagination in activism, Hollender will explore the theory of the holiday and Wonder’s championing of it with his hit song “Happy Birthday.”
From 6-8 p.m. on Jan. 18 in Quad 170 at Saint John’s, Dr. Corrie Grosse, assistant professor of environmental studies, will lead a panel with students who attended the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. They will speak about “A Revolution of Values,” connecting the fight against climate change with MLK’s vision of a global movement for justice.
And at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19 in Gorecki 204 at Saint Ben’s, Rev. James Alberts II will deliver the CSB and SJU MLK week keynote address. Alberts, who serves the Higher Ground Church of God in St. Cloud, is a board member at the Collegeville Institute and with ISAIAH, a multi-racial, statewide, nonpartisan coalition of faith communities fighting for racial and economic justice in Minnesota. In 2017, he founded Higher Works Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that has worked tirelessly to advance the lives and livelihoods of the African American community in Central Minnesota. Following the address, audience members will participate in table conversations facilitated by student leaders from Multicultural Student Services (MSS), CSB Campus Ministry and SJU Campus Ministry.
A community-wide Central Minnesota celebration of MLK Day will be Monday, Jan. 16, at St. Cloud State University. The event is free, although advance registration is requested, and offers ways to get involved and honor the legacy of Dr. King.