Boston University’s annual commemoration of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) will be shaped this year by growing concerns about the Trump administration’s commitment to civil rights. “In a time when educational bastions are under direct threat from an administration that fears visionary ideas, celebrations that champion King’s scholarship and diverse voices—that remind us of our best possibilities, rooted in freedom—are even more precious,” says award-winning poet Kamilah Aisha Moon, who will speak at the celebration, beginning at 2 pm Monday, January 15, at the George Sherman Union.
Moon, an Agnes Scott College assistant professor of poetry and creative writing, will be among several speakers reflecting “on the depth, power, and ever-increasing relevance” of King’s words beyond the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, says Kenneth Elmore (SED’87), associate provost and dean of students, who is overseeing this year’s program, titled Words Beyond the Dream.
Monday’s event will also include remarks by BU President Robert A. Brown, as well as by Katherine Kennedy, director of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer, poet Danez Smith, Babatunde Alford (CAS’18), and BU trustee Carol Fulp, president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership, Inc., which supports a multicultural workforce. Music will be performed by the School of Theology Seminary Singers, the Inner Strength Gospel Choir, the BU Academy Jazz Band, and the Medical Campus Blues Band.
“We will create a chorus of voices that elevate and illuminate Dr. King’s profound thinking and action related to the issues of community, justice, peace, and love,” says Elmore.
Moon says she will read from her poetry and speak about the importance of not giving up in times like the ones we are living through. “It is a distinct honor to participate in a program held at an institution …