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Tufts MLK Celebration 2020

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

MLK Day of Service – Monday, January 20, 2020, 12:00p.m., Breed Memorial Hall
University Celebration – Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 4:00 p.m., Breed Memorial Hall

Every year, Tufts University hosts a celebration to honor the life and mission of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We recommit annually to King’s vision for an equitable world by hearing from those who live the values of justice. This year’s program begins with current Tufts students sharing their research and writing about their own family histories. After a light dinner, Tufts’ welcomes Dr. Seth Markle, A00, Hope Wollensack, A11, and Desmond Fonseca, A20 for a panel discussion on this year’s theme: On the Right Side of the World Revolution: Local Movements and Global Visions.

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr. “Beyond Vietnam,” Riverside Church, NYC, April 4, 1967.

Outline of the Day


4:00-4:15 Welcoming remarks from University Chaplain ad interim Jennifer Howe Peace and President Anthony Monaco

4:15-5:00 Student sharing of family histories

5:00-5:30 Light dinner (vegetarian, kosher, and vegan options available)

5:30-6:55 Panel discussion – On the Right Side of the World Revolution: Local Movements and Global Visions with 

  •      Dr. Seth Markle, A00
  •     Hope Wollensack, A11
  •     Desmond Fonseca, A20
  •     Dr. Kerri Greenidge, facilitator

6:55-7:00 Closing remarks from Nandi Bynoe, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion

MLK Symposium Panelist Bios

Desmond Fonseca, A20

Desmond Fonseca is a graduating senior double majoring in history and Africana studies. His research interests broadly revolve around anti-colonial, pan-African, and black radical thought and practice during the Cold War Currently Desmond is writing his senior honors thesis on anti-colonial and anti-imperial solidarity organizing between Angola and Black America in the 1970s, amidst the guerrilla struggle within and decolonization of Portugal’s African colonies. He has been awarded the John Lewis Humanity in Action Fellowship, the Laidlaw Scholarship, and been a scholar at the Schomburg-Mellon Summer Humanities Institute in New York City. Beyond the classroom he has been involved in pro-labor, anti-imperial and anti-zionist organizing efforts at Tufts as well as during his study abroad time in Oxford.

Seth Markle, Ph.D., A00

Seth Markle is an Associate Professor of History and International Studies and current Director of the International Studies Program at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.  He received his B.A. from Tufts University (Class of 2000), where he double-majored in Africana Studies and English. In 2011, he received his Ph.D. in African and African Diaspora history from New York University. At Trinity, he teaches courses on transatlantic slavery, race, modern social movements, and global hip hop cultures. Professor Markle is the author of A Motorcycle on Hell Run; Tanzania, Black Power and Uncertain Future of Pan-Africanism, 1964-1974, which was published by Michigan State University Press in 2017. Currently, he is working on another book and set of multi-media projects that explore the transnational history of Tanzanian hip hop music and culture. 


Hope Wollensack, M.A., A11

Hope most recently was the Senior Policy and Advocacy Lead Fair Fight Action, where she led research and advocacy strategy for inclusive democracy policies and voter protection in Georgia. Hope has spent nearly a decade in organizing, justice, and advocacy work. Hope’s career is grounded in her upbringing in New Haven, CT and her early professional experiences as a teacher and assistant principal in New Orleans, LA, both provide a critical lens for understanding systematic injustice and strategies for leveraging change. In 2011, Hope graduated Tufts with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and minor in Africa in the New World and in 2018 graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School with a Master’s in Public Policy. Hope currently is the Director of Research at Overcoming Racism leading equity consulting with clients in politics and education.

Kerri Greenidge, Ph.D. 

Kerri Greenidge, Ph.D  received her Doctorate in American Studies from Boston University, where her specialty included African-American history, American political history, and African-American and African diasporic literature in the post-emancipation and early modern era. Her forthcoming book Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter will be published by Norton in Fall, 2019. The book, a biography of African-American activist, William Monroe Trotter, explores the history of racial thought and African American political radicalism in New England at the turn of the century. She is currently co-director of the African American Trail Project through Tufts’ Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD). She also serves as interim director of the American Studies Program through Tufts’ Consortium of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. Her scholarship explores the role of African-American literature in the creation of radical Black political consciousness, particularly as it relates to local elections and Democratic populism during the Progressive Era. She has taught at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, and Emerson College. Her work includes historical research for the Wiley-Blackwell Anthology of African-American Literature, the Oxford African American Studies Center, and PBS. For nine years she worked as a historian for Boston African American National Historical Site in Boston, through which she published her first book, Boston Abolitionists (2006).

With thanks to the Africana Studies, Division of Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Africana Center, the Center for the Humanities at Tufts, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Toupin-Bolwell Fund, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, and the University Chaplaincy.

DRIVING AND PARKING: We recommend driving to and parking in Tufts’ Dowling Hall Garage, located at 419 Boston Avenue, Medford, MA 02155 – Cost: $8 per day

* For more information or questions about the event accessibility considerations please contact