“They cancel classes for a reason,” Britiny Lee ’19 says of the annual Bates Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance.

The reason is that the observance is packed with a full schedule of talks, film screenings, performances, and workshops that examine contemporary human issues, from the nation as a whole to right here on campus.

MLK Day Updates

Please check the MLK Day schedule for weather-related updates.

This year’s theme, “Lifting Every Voice: Intersectionality and Activism,” encourages the community to look at ways racism intersects with other forms of oppression — and search together for solutions.

Watch Britiny Lee ’19 explain the variety of events and opportunities to learn at the Bates MLK Day observance. 

Lee, a member of the MLK Day Planning Committee, says the day is a “great chance for you to go and address issues that aren’t talked about every day but that are problems on this campus, that are problems in this world — that people are accustomed to brushing over, because it hurts.”

For others, MLK Day is chance to understand the experiences and challenges that people face due to racism and other forms of oppression.

Watch students Britiny Lee ’19 and Kyle Larry ’21, Director of Compensation and Performance Melani McGuire, Assistant Professor of Sociology Michael Rocque, Associate Professor of Philosophy Susan Stark, and Professor of Sociology Emily Kane explain the value of going to MLK Day events.

“I’m able to get out of my space— my white, privileged space — and to be able to learn about issues that people of color are having,” says Melani McGuire, a member of the MLK Day Planning Committee who is the director of compensation and performance in the Office of Human Resources.

“As a white privileged person, we’re very protected from learning that information. And it’s an opportunity to find out and understand the challenges of the people we live with.”

Says Lee, “Whatever your race is, whatever way you identify, there’s something in it for everyone.”