Khalil Gibran Muhammad is the keynote speaker for Bates' 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance.

Khalil Gibran Muhammad is the keynote speaker for Bates’ 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance.

Join us at Bates College Jan. 15–17, 2017, as we observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day with programming that features a keynote address by author and educator Khalil Gibran Muhammad, 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 complete 2017 schedule of MLK Day programming at Bates.

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: segregated housing, vast inequities in health care and education, mass incarceration, widely held implicit associations, 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

Keynote Speaker

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 a 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.

Muhammad’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 University Press, 2010), named the 2011 John Hope Franklin Best Book in American Studies.

His work has been featured in national print and broadcast media outlets including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, NPR, and MSNBC. Khalil was an associate editor of The Journal of American History and was an 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.

Greetings from the 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’