Each year, we set aside a day to commemorate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s thoughts, words, and actions. Our tradition has been to cancel classes in favor of holding a campus-wide “class” for all students, faculty, and staff, which serves as a day of learning that celebrates and continues Dr. King’s hallmark of service to humanity. This year, the day will be Jan. 27.
The day of commemoration gives us a chance to come together as a community to reflect and discuss Reverend King’s dream. This year’s theme, “Call and Response: The Call of King’s Dream and Denison’s Response of Hope,” is a wonderful reminder of Dr. King’s dream for a global community, which is a relevant and important topic for Denison at this moment in our history.
On Monday, Jan. 27, Denison’s Alford Center for Service Learning will organize service projects in the greater Granville-Newark communities. Everyone is invited to join our students in this volunteerism, beginning with a kick-off for service on Jan. 23 (11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Slayter Auditorium), and ending with a session to reflect on the service experience on Jan. 27 (11:30 a.m. – noon, Knobel Hall in the Burton D. Morgan Center).
The centerpiece of the commemoration—The Call to Critical Thinking—is an all-campus convocation in Swasey Chapel at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, featuring Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, chair of the Religion Department and holder of the Susan D. Morgan Professorship of Religion at Goucher College. As part of the convocation, we will have some exciting and engaging student performances that take up the theme of the day. The convocation will end with a charge to the community.
We invite everyone to join students for reflection and dialogue over dinner in the dining halls. Everyone is invited for the modest cost of dining hall fare.
Denison’s MLK commemoration is an important part of our community. It should be a day for reflection, celebration, and service.