“We Shall Overcome” Theme of Martin Luther King Celebration Jan. 30

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at a College of Social Studies luncheon in 1964 and addressed a student rally later that day. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at a College of Social Studies luncheon in 1964 and addressed a student rally later that day. He also delivered the Class of 1964 baccalaureate sermon and received an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Wesleyan.

“We shall overcome: How far have we come?” was the theme of Wesleyan’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration.

All members of the Wesleyan and greater Middletown community are invited to a panel presentation and discussion to explore various perspectives about the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City to commemorate the life, civil rights and social justice legacy that Dr. King has left.

The commemoration will be held in Memorial Chapel at 3:15 p.m., Jan. 30. This is a ticketed, free event. Tickets to the event can be secured at the University Box Office on Jan. 20.

The event will include music and an audio clip of Dr. King’s baccalaureate address to the Wesleyan community 51 years ago, followed by the panel presentation and discussion.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Antonio Farias, vice President for equity and inclusion/Title IX officer and will include the following panelists:

Riché J. Daniel Barnes, assistant professor of Afro-American Studies at Smith College; Dreisen Heath ’15, African American studies and FGSS major at Wesleyan; Kiese Laymon, associate professor of English at Vassar College; and Chief Joseph Dooley, president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association.

The program will be followed by a brief dessert reception. Later in the evening there will be a series of discussions to be held in various locations on campus and a student-coordinated open-mic at 8 p.m. in the West College Cafe.

Everyone in the university community is encouraged to attend this program.

For several decades Wesleyan has celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The celebration has taken various forms from prominent key note speakers such as Johnetta Cole and Sonia Sanchez to a campus based program where members of faculty, staff and students read portions of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Learn more about the past speakers here.