MLK Jr. Week at SSU: A way to inspire, gather, and stand for social justice as a community


It’s MLK week! In honor of this there will be a variety of events on campus brought to you by Student Involvement and Activities (SIA) in conjunction with other organizations. This week allows students to take advantage of the various events to stay inspired and reflect on ways to impact the community at large with the SSU community.

On Wednesday, January 18th from 5-7pm there will be “The Bayard Rustin Forum: Inclusion of Queer People of Color” a Latinx Reflection: Orlando Pulse taking place in the MLK room of the Ellison Campus Center. This forum will explore how Martin Luther King Jr. social activism is implemented in an intersectional era. All are welcome to join in reflecting with Latinx individuals on the tragedy at Pulse Orlando and how Latinx folks may be seen and supported.

This Thursday, January 19th from 3-4:30pm, answer to “A Call to Action: Creating a No Place for Hate Campus” where you will  join individuals from Salem and the No Place for Hate committee of the City of Salem to discuss mobilizing members of Salem State to challenge bigotry and to promote a prejudice-free community. This event is co-sponsored by the office of diversity and inclusion, the Center for Civic Engagement, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, first year experience, spiritual life, and the Salem State Hillel.

Coming up this Friday, January 20th, will be “Social Activism 101: Revolutionary Reflection” in the Petrowski Room (210) of Marsh Hall from 10:00-11:30am. This event will be dedicated to hearing thoughts and perspectives from revolutionary voices and leaders on what will be required for all of us to remain courageous and resilient in hopes of continuing our journey toward justice and equity. SIA will be bringing activists and legislators across Massachusetts together to share strategies and messages of hope.The second event to be hosted by SIA shortly after will be an opportunity to watch the inauguration together as a campus community from 12:00-2:00pm this Friday, January 20th at the Viking Hall Starbucks.

We are lucky to be so close to Boston where “Boston’s Women’s March for America” will take place from 11am-3pm on January 21st. There will be bus pick up provided from the Ellison Campus Center lobby at 8:30am the morning of. Any student is welcome to participate in uniting to travel to downtown Boston to march in solidarity with communities most affected by the hate, intolerance and acts of violence being perpetrated throughout the nation—among many are communities of women, immigrants, people of color, and people who identify as LGBTQIA. Together, we will send a message to our leaders and the world that the United States of America stands for values of human decency, equal rights and freedom from discrimination. After the event, transportation back will also be provided for students.

On Monday January 23rd from 11am-1pm is the 27th annual MLK Jr. Convocation: The Courage to Create a Just World in Vets Hall of the Ellison Campus Center. This convocation serves as the conclusion of the weeklong celebration of the life and works of Dr. King. Members of the university community, representatives from area schools and the community at large will gather to be inspired together. Keynote speaker Dr. C.T. Vivian is best known for his work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He was National Director of Affiliates, and strategist for every Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) organization. He truly helped change the nation: his work in Birmingham helped win the Civil Rights Bill; in Selma, the Voting Rights Bill; and he was deeply involved in other movements such as Nashville, TN; Danville, VA; St. Augustine, FL; and Chicago, IL. Vivian had won his first non-violent direct action movement in 1947 opening restaurants in Peoria, IL. As they presented him with one of his many honorary doctorates, the New School for Social Research named Dr. C.T. Vivian a “… spiritual leader, apostle of social justice, strategist of the civil rights movement … For decades he has been in the vanguard of the struggle for racial equality in America”.

Please consider attending any of these events not only to further your learning but to support your peers in taking a stand for social justice.


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