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Tufts University Programs Honoring The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

University Celebration – Monday, January 23, 2017, 3:00 pm, Breed Memorial Hall

MLK Day of Service – Saturday, January 28, 2017, Various Times and Locations

A Tufts University Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium

Monday, January 23, 2017, 3-7:30 pm, Breed Memorial Hall (51 Winthrop Street, Medford, MA 02155)

Each year, Tufts University hosts an annual celebration honoring the life and work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For this year’s celebration, the MLK planning team has lined up a series of panels and speakers who will explore the question: “Where do we go from here?” The day will begin with a panel of distinguished historians who will place our current moment in historical context through the exploration of African American and women’s history, the African diaspora and collective resistance, the history of immigration and exclusion, European fascism, abolitionism, and movement building. This will be followed by a panel of community organizers and activists who will discuss how this historical context informs their work at the local and national levels. We will conclude with dinner and a keynote lecture from Tufts alumna, Rev. Jennifer Bailey, A09. Jennifer is the founding Executive Director of the Faith Matters Network and will discuss how we might build King’s “beloved community” in the Trump Era. For more information, please go to

Sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, the Student Affairs Pluralism Fund, the Africana Center, the Center for the Humanities at Tufts, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, the Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora, the Department of History, the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, and the University Chaplaincy.

Outline of Day

3-3:15 pm – Opening Remarks

3:15-4:30 pm – How Did We Get Here? Boston-based Historians on Our Current Political Moment

Learn more about the panelists here. 

  • Dr. Vivek Bald, Associate Professor of Writing and Digital Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Greg Childs, Assistant Professor of History, Brandeis University
  • Dr. Ashley Farmer, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies, Boston University
  • Dr. Elizabeth Foster, Associate Professor of History, Tufts University
  • Dr. Kerri Greenidge, Lecturer on African-American History, Tufts University
  • Dr. Kendra Field, Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies, Tufts University, Moderator
  • Dr. Kris Manjapra, Associate Professor of History, Tufts University, Moderator

Coffee Break

4:45-6 pm – Where Do We Go From Here? Boston-based Organizers and Activists on the Movement Ahead

Learn more about the panelists here. 

  • Kalila Barnett, Executive Director, Alternatives for Community and Environment
  • Chris Cato, Green Initiative Project Manager, YouthBuild USA, and Board Member, Eagle Eye Institute
  • Tito Jackson, District 7 Boston City Councilor (Roxbury and parts of the South End, Dorchester and Fenway neighborhoods)
  • Tanisha Sullivan, Incoming President, Boston National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • Shirley Mark, Director of Community Partnerships, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Moderator

Break and Dinner

6:30-7:30 pm – Keynote – “Building Beloved Community in the Trump Era”


Ours is a nation divided. Violence and harassment are on the rise. Those espousing hate, once on the fringe, have been afforded a stage. Millions of Americans find their rights to exist freely now in limbo. Millions more believe themselves unheard. The 2016 election exposed a rupture at the heart of our democracy. In the aftermath of one of the most divisive election cycles in recent memory the question, first posed by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1967 seems is relevant than ever, “Where Do We Go from Here? Chaos or Community”. This talk will explore strategies that will help us heal the divide by leaning into the wisdom traditions and lessons of 20th century American social movements. It is only through an acknowledgement of our past, attention to the unique circumstances of our present reality, and a creative moral vision for our future that we can chart a path forward toward the beloved community Dr. King envisioned.