Call and Response
Denison University's 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Learning centers around the idea of responding to Dr. King’s call for us to live a life of activism and service. The tradition of call and response reflects the vibrant cultural context out of which King’s life of activism emerged.
Call and response is:
A speech pattern which characterizes the expressive and dynamic characteristics of African-American speech … It derives its meaning from religious sequences in which the minister issues a “call” to which the audience responds through words or actions. Informed by African-American oral traditions, the pattern also finds its origin and function in art; developed in spirituals and songs, call-and-response has a communal nature, valuing audience improvisation and performance. The artist and audience work together in making the result of the interaction meaningful and functional for the community (Boone, 2003; Sale, 1992).
We invoke this notion of call and response to offer our community the opportunity to respond to Dr. King’s call for action and to develop our personal, professional, and civic responsibility to each other, to the communities around us and in solidarity with global communities.
The Call to Service
January 23rd through noon on January 27th
Preceding and flowing into the morning of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Learning, the Alford Service Learning Center will organize service projects in the greater Granville-Newark communities. The kick-off for the Service Learning component takes place during common hour Thursday, January 23 from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in Slayter Auditorium. The Service Learning will culminate in an opportunity for reflection on the service experience from 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon in Knobel Hall. For more information contact: Dr. Gina Dow, Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Susie Kalinoski, Associate Director (email@example.com).
The Call to Critical Thinking
Denison Students Perform
1:30-2:00 p.m. January 27th, Swasey Chapel
During this Day of Learning, we take the opportunity to showcase students’ artistic/creative performance as a part of our learning together.
“King’s Dream in the Age of Obama”
Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas '79
2:00-3:00 p.m. January 27th, Swasey Chapel
Dr. Douglas will deliver a campus-wide keynote address entitled: “King’s Dream in the Age of Obama.” The keynote will end with a charge for each of us to act, engage, and live King’s dream for a real utopia, buoyed by hope yet grounded in our humanity.
- Committee Co-Chairs: Toni King, Mark Orten
- Committee Members: Stafford Berry, Marlaine Browning, Alina Halliliuc, Daniel Levy, Diana Mafe, Graciella Maiolatesi, Evan Stoller, and Lina Yoo.
- Contact: Jane Dougan, the Provost’s Office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
About Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas
Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is currently Director of the Religion Program at Goucher College where she holds the Susan D. Morgan Professorship of Religion. Prior to coming to Goucher College she was Associate Professor of Theology at Howard University School of Divinity (1987-2001) and Assistant Professor of Religion at Edward Waters College (1986-1987).
A leading voice in the development of a womanist theology, Essence magazine counts Douglas “among this country’s most distinguished religious thinkers, teachers, ministers, and counselors.” She is widely published in national and international journals and other publications. Her groundbreaking and widely used book Sexuality and the Black Church was the first to address the issue of homophobia within the black church community. Other books include The Black Christ, What’s Faith Got to Do With It?:Black Bodies/Christian Souls, and her most recent work Black Church/Black Body: A Blues Slant, which seeks to move the black church beyond its oppressive views toward LGBT bodies and sexuality in general. She is also the co-editor of Sexuality and the Sacred: Sources for Theological Reflection. Dr. Douglas has been a pioneering and highly sought after voice in regard to n addressing sexual issues in relation to the black religious community. She has been very active in advocating equal rights for LGBT persons.
Dr. Douglas is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Denison where she earned a bachelor of science summa cum laude in psychology. She went on to earn a master of divinity and a doctoral degree in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary (New York City) under James Cone, the premier black theologian. While at Union she was received The Hudnut Award for demonstrated preaching excellence and the Julius Hanson Award as the outstanding theological student.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Douglas was ordained at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in 1985 -- the first black woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest in the Southern Ohio Diocese, and one of only five nationwide at the time. She was the first to receive the Anna Julia Cooper Award by the Union of Black Episcopalians (July 2012) for “her literary boldness and leadership in the development of a womanist theology and discussing the complexities of Christian faith in African-American contexts.” She served as an Associate Priest at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. for over 20 years.
She is a member of the American Academy of Religion, The Society for the Study of Black Religion, The Ecumenical Association for Third World Theologians and on The Board of Scholars for Ms. Magazine.