Members of the community are invited to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Bridgewater College during its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, “Celebrating the Dream, Continuing the Journey.”
The celebration will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 17, at Oakdale Park in Bridgewater.
The event kicks off with guest speakers giving remarks at Oakdale, followed by a march of event attendees from the park to Bridgewater College’s campus. A shuttle will be available for those who would like to participate in the march but are unable to walk the entire route because of limited mobility. At the conclusion of the march, guests are invited to enjoy a reception in the Kline Campus Center lobby. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left this world a better place. At Bridgewater College, we hold this event not only to honor his legacy, but to bear in mind that there is still much more work that needs to be done to achieve Dr. King’s dream. This event will provide a space for these much-needed conversations,” said Dr. Gauri Pitale, Associate Dean of Students for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Bridgewater College. After the reception, Bridgewater College faculty will lead three teach-ins in Cole Hall on the College’s campus.
A livestream of each session will be available at bridgewater.edu/teachinMLK. The teach-in sessions are as follows: • “From Civil Rights to Afrofuturism: Dr. King’s Influence on Science Fiction Media” with Dr. Grace Martin, 12:30 p.m. This teach-in session will examine the connections between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work for civil rights and its legacy in Afrofuturist media. • “All Labor Has Dignity” with Dr. Sam Hamilton, 1:30 p.m. In addition to his commitment to ending racial segregation, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was similarly committed to the cause of economic justice. Just as the moral lessons from his civil rights advocacy can and should inform our present-day struggles with racial justice, so too should King’s lifelong support for workers’ rights inform our present-day struggles with economic justice. • “Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela: Leaders for Non-Racial Democracy” with Dr. Jamie Frueh, 2:30 p.m. Frueh will lead a discussion comparing two of the most respected leaders of the 20th century. Also part of Bridgewater College’s observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an endowed lecture on Tuesday, Jan. 18, sponsored by the Anna B. Mow Symposium. Author, musician and screenwriter James McBride will speak about his latest novel, Deacon King Kong. Told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us. The lecture will be a traditional lecture format in the Concert Hall in the Carter Center for Worship and Music beginning at 7:30 p.m., with a Q&A portion to follow.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and attendees with have an opportunity for a book signing with McBride from 8:30 to 9 p.m.
All of the events are free and open to the public. In keeping with guidance from the CDC, Bridgewater College requires that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, properly wear face masks when indoors in public areas of campus.