In Denison tradition, we dedicated our day to the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.

Classes were canceled Jan. 24, 2022, as we set aside time to learn from a man whose thoughts, words, and actions defined an era and created a blueprint for civic engagement. We began the morning with a chilly but spirited march from Swasey Chapel, where hundreds of students, staff, and faculty joined in a symbolic walk in King’s shoes.

Later inside Swasey, we heard a stirring keynote address from Vanderbilt University Professor Victor Anderson, titled “Between King’s Arc of Justice and the World House: How Shall We Then Live?” Anderson’s timely examination of our polarized society recalled King’s pervasive confidence in a world “measured by a long arc bending toward justice. And the end of that arc is a world house and beloved community.”

“If we look long enough and hard enough,” Anderson said, “we might find traces of the great hope of democratic fulfillment, of that impossible possibility of increasing love between individuals and community.”

Denison President Adam Weinberg, addressing the crowd at Swasey, noted the significance of the day — and the importance of continuing to strive to uphold King’s dream.

“We need more ways to grapple with, to understand, and quite frankly to make progress on the issues Dr. King articulated, fought for, and led us on,” Weinberg said. “We have inherited legacies of slavery and racism, and we need to be the ones to deal with that legacy to create a more equitable and inclusive future.”

January 31, 2022