November 7, 2017
Topic: Campus News
Award-winning actor, best-selling author and philanthropist Hill Harper will deliver the 32nd annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium keynote memorial lecture in January.
This year's symposium keynote will take place at 10 a.m. Jan. 15 in Hill Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
The keynote is co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives under the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business with support from the William K. McInally Memorial Lecture Fund.
"Every year our planning committee seeks to find a theme and speaker that reflects the legacy of Dr. King, to be critical of the inequities in the status quo, yet act and be inclusive in generating solutions," OAMI Associate Director Lumas J. Helaire said.
"We identify speakers whose life and work demonstrate a value of diversity and speaks up for some of our most vulnerable populations. Hill Harper is one of those individuals who has been nominated for many years to deliver the keynote lecture."
Harper is known for his work supporting youth across the country through his writings and his Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, which provides underserved youth "a path to empowerment and educational excellence" through services like mentoring and academic enrichment programming.
Among his appearances as an actor, Harper starred on the CBS drama "CSI: NY," USA Network's "Covert Affairs," and most recently on ABC's "The Good Doctor."
Harper has written several books, including "Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny," "Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny," and "Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones."
His acting and writing has earned him several NAACP Image Awards, as well as spots on The New York Times' bestseller list.
Harper graduated magna cum laude as valedictorian of his department with a bachelor's degree from Brown University and cum laude with a law degree from Harvard Law School. He also holds a master's degree with honors from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and honorary doctoral degrees from Winston-Salem State University, Cheyney University, Westfield State College, Tougaloo College, Dillard University and Howard University.
The theme of the 2018 MLK Symposium will be "The Fierce Urgency of Now," a topic which Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, said calls on community members to claim ownership of present-day challenges instead of leaving them for subsequent generations to address.