Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2017


Khalil Gibran Muhammad is professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. He is the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library and the world’s leading library and archive of global black history. He is also a former Associate Professor at Indiana University. Khalil’s research focuses on racial criminalization in modern U.S. History. He is a contributor to a 2014 National Research Council study, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences, and is the author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America (Harvard), which won the 2011 John Hope Franklin Best Book award in American Studies. Much of his work has been featured in a number of national print and broadcast media outlets, including the New York Times, New Yorker, Washington Post, NPR, Moyers and Company, and MSNBC. Khalil was an associate editor of The Journal of American History and prior Andrew W. Mellon fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice. He holds two honorary doctorates and is on the boards of The Museum of Modern Art, The Barnes Foundation, and The Nation magazine.

Join us at Bates College on Jan. 16, 2017, as we observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day with programming that features a keynote address, along with a wealth of thoughtful and thought-provoking activities. In addition to two sessions of concurrent workshops, these include such popular annual events as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Service on Sunday evening, Jan. 17; the Monday afternoon debate featuring debaters from Morehouse College and Bates; and Monday evening’s performance by Sankofa.

The theme for 2017 MLK Day programming at Bates is, “Reparations: Addressing Racial Injustices.” Despite the lofty principles of democracy, racism and racial injustices are embedded in the founding of the United States. These injustices have been transformed over the centuries, but continue today: from segregated housing, to vast inequities in health care and education, to mass incarceration, to widely-held implicit associations, to the dominance of whiteness as a social norm. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Best wishes,
Mara Tieken, Mike Rocque, and Susan Stark
MLK Day Planning Committee Co-chairs
on behalf of the entire MLK Day Planning Committee


Dear Bates Community Members,


The 2016 U.S. election and the current political climate continue to shine a light on the severity of racism (institutional and individual) in the United States and abroad. The MLK Day Planning Committee remains as committed as ever to social justice and to continuing the work to overcome all forms of oppression, including racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, and other bigotries. We hope that the dialogue we engage in before, during, and after MLK Day 2017 can support the struggle for justice for all.

The MLK Day Planning Committee


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail