Dartmouth Welcomes Ferguson Commission Co-Chair Wilson


A highlight of Dartmouth’s 2015 celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. will be a visit by the Rev. Starsky Wilson, co-chair of the Ferguson (Mo.) Commission and president and CEO of the Deaconess Foundation. Wilson will speak first at 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16, in Filene Auditorium at Moore Hall, and then at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 18 in Rollins Chapel.

The Rev. Starsky Wilson of St. Louis is co-chair of the Ferguson Commission. (Photo courtesy of the Rev. Starsky Wilson)

Hosted by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences, Wilson will deliver Friday’s lecture, Lessons Learned in Ferguson and Their Implications for the Country.” He will focus on what the Ferguson Commission has accomplished so far and what its roles may be in setting new policy and facilitating social change. Wilson will share his experiences in Ferguson and his perception of how the community must move forward. (Overflow seating will be available in Moore Hall, Room B03, and, if necessary, in Kemeny Hall, Room 008.)

His Sunday address is to be part of the community multi-faith celebration, hosted by the William Jewett Tucker Foundation. In “From Selma to Ferguson: Why We Can’t Wait,” he will address what he sees as parallels between what was happening in Selma around the time of King’s march and events in Ferguson since August, when a policeman shot and killed Michael Brown.

Sunday’s celebration will also feature special musical performances by the World Percussion Music Ensemble, the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir, and members of the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble.

2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Campus events will include talks, performances, and a community faith celebration. For a full schedule of events, visit Dartmouth’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration website.

Wilson leads the Deaconess Foundation, a faith-based grant-making organization devoted to making child well-being a civic priority in the St. Louis region. He is also pastor of Saint John’s Church in St. Louis, where he has led congregational activism on issues, including youth violence prevention, Medicaid expansion, public school accreditation, voter mobilization, and initiative petitions to cap predatory lending rates, and raise the minimum wage in Missouri.

Wilson was recently selected by Missouri Gov. Jeremiah Nixon to co-chair the Ferguson Commission, created to study and make specific recommendations for how to make progress on issues brought to light in Ferguson.

The following co-sponsors made Wilson’s visit to campus possible: the Tucker Foundation, the Office of the Provostthe Dean of the College, the Rockefeller Center, the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learningthe Program in Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies, Dartmouth College Hillel, the Ethics Institute, and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity. A video of the entire community multi-faith celebration will be available via the Dartmouth YouTube channel.

Joseph Blumberg