2020 MLK Symposium’s theme is ‘The (Mis) Education of US’


To commemorate the legacy of civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the University of Michigan’s 2020 MLK Symposium will focus on the complexities associated with diversity and highlighting the diversity within marginalized communities.

The theme for the symposium is “The (Mis)Education of US.”

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“Too often the rich and nuanced diversity within groups has been left out, limited, and even obscured in its representation by our society,” said Rob Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. “This (mis)education leads to an essentializing of different groups that is often stereotypical and limiting.

“As a result, we must continue to uplift the narrative of those who are traditionally marginalized or left out and in doing so emphasizing the rich variability within the groups that makes us all human.  That is the only way that we can reach our goal of reducing misunderstandings, division, bias and inequity.”

The keynote memorial lecture for the symposium will take place at 10 a.m. Jan. 20 at Hill Auditorium, and additional events will take place throughout the month of January.  The keynote speaker will be announced in the coming weeks.

The university has hosted its annual MLK Symposium since 1986 and routinely includes a theme chosen by faculty, staff and students across campus based on its relevance to current social justice issues and the teachings of King.

The Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, under the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, coordinates the MLK lecture.

Departments that would like their events featured on the symposium’s website and in the U-M MLK Symposium Commemorative Booklet must submit their event information online at myumi.ch/aAbzP by 5 p.m. Nov. 15.

Event information submitted after Nov. 15 will be posted on the website, but not in the booklet.

For more information, contact MLKsymposiuminfo@umich.edu or call 734-936-1055.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited from its original version to incorporate new information.


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