Special section features highlights of 2022 MLK Symposium


MLK Keynote Memorial Lecture

The University of Michigan’s 2022 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium presents symposium keynote speakers: Maria Hinojosa and Rashad Richey, joined by moderator Patricia Coleman-Burns at 10 a.m. Jan. 17

View the livestream

Two journalists of color will co-headline MLK Symposium

Noted journalists and commentators Maria Hinojosa and Rashad Richey will co-headline the University of Michigan’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium Memorial Keynote Lecture. In a moderated discussion led by Patricia Coleman-Burns, professor emerita of nursing, the trio will discuss the theme of this year’s symposium, “This is America,” and explore defining America through the lens of social justice. The lecture is scheduled to take place virtually at 10 a.m. Jan. 17.

See a full list of MLK Symposium events on and around the Ann Arbor campus

Reparations are main topic of panel discussion at MLK event

Should descendants of enslaved African Americans receive reparations? What could those reparations look like? A panel will tackle those questions during the online discussion “You Can Keep the Mule: Let’s Explore Reparations Models.” The panel discussion will explore forms reparations could take, from cash payments to free land or college tuition, with a focus on African Americans and Native Americans. It will also explore whether reparations are owed at all. It will take place from 12:30-2 p.m. Jan. 17.

Tulsa race massacre still resonates after more than 100 years

A writer and historian who has been researching the 1921 Tulsa race massacre for nearly five decades said his work isn’t over — and neither is the story of the massacre. Scott Ellsworth, a lecturer IV in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, will talk about the incident and its lasting impact during “The Tulsa Race Massacre: Causes, Cover-ups and the Ongoing Fight for Justice.” The program will be from 4-6 p.m. Jan. 17 in Room 1014 of Tisch Hall, and will be livestreamed on Zoom.

NYU professor aims to offer more honest view of incarceration

Nicole Fleetwood has long been struck by how the prison system is portrayed visually in the mainstream media. Images flooding television shows, documentaries and news programs display an imperfect view of the prison system and, more concerning to Fleetwood, impede efforts to reform it. “Abolitionist Aesthetics: The Art to End Slavery and to End Prisons” is scheduled for 4-5:30 p.m. Jan. 19, a virtual event featuring Fleetwood, the James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU.

Detroit-area speaker encourages churches to be more welcoming

John Thorne wants his church to be more inclusive and welcoming. In fact, he wants all churches to be more inclusive and welcoming. That is the foundation of a presentation he will give at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at St. Mary Student Parish, 331 Thompson St., as part of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium. Thorne, executive director of the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance, said the event “All Are Welcome … But Are They?” is intended for both church-goers and those who do not attend church.

Event to explore Ellington’s symphonic triptych ‘Three Black Kings’

The International Center for American Music will host a virtual event at 3 p.m. Jan. 27 featuring a discussion of Duke Ellington’s final composition, “Three Black Kings,” with Luca Bragalini, professor of jazz history at the Music Conservatory of Brescia, Italy. The title of the work and original reference is to the Black King in the Nativity and refers to three movements, each depicting a different “king”: Balthazar, the Black king of the Magi; King Solomon; and Ellington’s good friend the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



  1. Sheri Amici
    on January 14, 2022 at 7:23 am

    “Is it possible that my voice can make a difference?” beckoned at the Voices of the Staff Town Hall on January 13. This encouragement had me decide to share just a small piece of the four-page essay I wrote out of frustration on Monday, January 10, after seeing the University Record article about the symposium.

    I am left very troubled and angered by the image this University is choosing to use for its Martin Luther King symposium.—in chains, a mug shot with a map of the United States titled “This is America!” … this is your title??
    Dr. King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, wrote many books, of his life’s legacy of being a God-loving and freedom-fighting American who loved his country and moved this country – with many other black and white Americans – to new levels of action and understanding, to use this wonderful man’s image to spread the hate propaganda is nothing short of evil intent. We all can be encouraged and lifted by learning from those who have accomplished great things in spite of difficult times, in spite of great obstacles, in spite of segregation, in spite of prejudice. The focus ought to be on their accomplishments for the good of others, for the good of this nation and for mankind. Lift people! Was evil done to many in our country’s young history, yes; is evil done today here and around the world, yes! But to diminish one’s legacy, to diminish the strides made, lifts no one, in fact, I would argue to do so does great harm to all of humanity.
    In the words of Dr. King himself, he wrote: “A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. …“If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, ‘brethren!’ Be careful, teachers!” (see article, Morehouse College student newspaper, The Maroon Tiger – “The Purpose of Education” 1947 (http://okra.stanford.edu/transcription/document_images/Vol01Scans/123_Jan-Feb1947_The%20Purpose%20of%20Education.pdf ).

  2. Gail Kuhnlein
    on January 17, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Will the keynote symposium recording be available (I think it usually is)? Do you know when/where it will be posted? Thank you.

    • Jeffrey Bleiler
      on January 17, 2022 at 4:27 pm

      Hi, Gail. Thanks for reading The Record. This link will take you to the YouTube recording of the keynote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj5UKG3aTxU. Thanks again!

      Jeff Bleiler
      Associate editor

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