The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee, a faculty-led group that includes staff and students, spends the better part of an academic year planning a theme, keynote speaker, workshops, films, performances, and debates for the college’s annual MLK Day observance. This Bates observance is unique in its depth and history.

“It’s really empowering, because they’re just normal people — everybody who looks just like you, does homework like you, eats at Commons like you,” says Rachel Chappell ’18. “They’re getting together making change.”

This year’s theme, “Power, Politics, and Privilege: Resistance To/Through Education,” addresses education as a critical civil rights issue and features Na’ilah Suad Nasir, president of the Spencer Foundation, as the keynote speaker. Nasir will discuss “The Education Imperative: Dreaming a New Public Education Dream.”

In this short video, student members of the 2018 Bates MLK Day Committee address the importance of MLK Day as a source of enlightenment, engagement, and empowerment. Hear what they have to say, and be sure to attend. A full schedule of events is available here.

Na’ilah Suad Nasir’s keynote address and The Rev. Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Class of 1920, Debate will be live-streamed on Facebook Live.


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