Panelists Speak at Martin Luther King Commemoration

“We shall overcome: How far have we come?” was the theme of Wesleyan's annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration held Jan. 30 in Memorial Chapel. Panelists offered various perspectives about the recent events in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City to commemorate the life, civil rights and social justice legacy that Dr. King has left.

“We shall overcome: How far have we come?” was the theme of Wesleyan’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration held Jan. 30 in Memorial Chapel. Panelists offered various perspectives about the recent events in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City to commemorate the life, civil rights and social justice legacy that Dr. King has left.

Antonio Farias, vice president for equity and inclusion/Title IX officer, moderated the discussion.

Antonio Farias, vice president for equity and inclusion/Title IX officer, moderated the discussion.

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

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

The event included music and an audio clip of Dr. King’s baccalaureate address to the Wesleyan community in 1964.

The event included music and an audio clip of Dr. King’s baccalaureate address to the Wesleyan community in 1964.

Wesleyan has celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for decades. 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.

Wesleyan has celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for decades. 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. (Photos by Hannah Norman ’16)

Learn more about the past speakers here.