Dartmouth’s Annual MLK Celebration Focuses on Social Justice



For a full schedule of events, visit Dartmouth’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration website.

Ella L.J. Bell Smith, associate professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business, will present the keynote address at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, which honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with events promoting civil rights and social justice. This year’s celebration, “Find Voice in a Whisper,” runs from Jan. 18 through Jan. 30, and includes performances, lectures, discussions, social events, and opportunities to volunteer.

Smith is an expert on race relations, class, and women’s issues in the workplace. The author, most recently, of Career GPS, she has served as a consultant to corporate leaders across the country on discriminatory barriers in the workplace, strategic leadership, managing inclusion, and work-life balance.

Tuck School of Business’ Ella L.J. Bell Smith will deliver the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration keynote address on January 19. (Photo by Laura DeCapua)

She speaks at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 19, in Moore Theater at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Tickets are required for the free event. They will be available at the Hopkins Center box office beginning on Thursday, Jan. 8, at 10 a.m. for all Dartmouth ID holders, and will be made available to the general public at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 9 (limit four tickets per person). Ticket holders are asked to take their seats by 6:45 p.m., after which time empty seats will become available to all.

The Rev. Starsky Wilson will speak at a community faith celebration at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 18, in Rollins Chapel. Wilson is pastor of Saint John’s United Church of Christ in St. Louis, Mo., and a key figure in the continuing local and national response to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Wilson will preach on “Selma to Ferguson: Why We Can’t Wait.” Sunday’s service will include readings from the works of King and from several faith traditions, as well as music from the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir and the World Music Percussion Ensemble. Wilson will also speak on “Lessons Learned in Ferguson and Their Implications for the Country,” at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, in Filene Auditorium at Moore Hall.

More than two dozen events during the celebration include a Day of Service sponsored by the Tucker Foundation (beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 19, in Collis Commonground) and a Student Forum on Global Learning, introduced by Ryan M. West ’14, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran (beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 20, in Haldeman Hall and Kemeny Hall).

This year’s speaker at the annual Employees Breakfast will be Professor of Sociology Denise Anthony, the vice provost for academic initiatives. The breakfast will take place 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 19, in the Grand Ballroom at the Hanover Inn. (Registration is required.)

Dartmouth’s connections to the Civil Rights Movement are the focus of “We Were There,” a faculty panel led by Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, professor of English, Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor in Biography, and chair of Dartmouth’s African and African American studies program. It begins at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20, in Room 003 of the Rockefeller Center. The exhibition Art of the Civil Rights Movement continues at the Hood Museum of Art through March 8. A gallery talk about photographer Harry Benson’s work documenting the aftermath of King’s assassination takes place starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in the museum’s Sack Gallery.

Dartmouth’s annual Social Justice Awards and a panel discussion with the honorees take place at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29, in the Georgiopoulos Classroom, located in the Raether Building of the Tuck School of Business.

Richard Joseph ’65, John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern University, will receive the Lester B. Granger ’18 Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Constance Clery, founder of the Clery Center for Security on Campus, is being recognized for lifetime achievement as well, in honor of the work done by her and her husband, Howard K. Clery Jr. ’53, to transform awareness and action about campus safety across the country.

Frank Venegas Jr., founder, chairman, and CEO of Ideal Group, will receive the Ongoing Commitment Award, recognizing his continuing commitment to the care of the community through philanthropy, mentoring, and advocacy.

Gabrielle Lucke, Vermont state representative and senior training and development consultant with the Office of Human Resources at Dartmouth, will receive the Holly Fell Sateia Award, which recognizes a faculty or staff member at Dartmouth who is an enthusiastic and effective leader in advancing diversity and community.

CoFIRED, a group dedicated to the advancement of human rights and to equal legal and social treatment of undocumented immigrants both at Dartmouth’s campus and nationwide, is the winner of the 2015 Student Organization Social Justice Award.

The 2015 Martin Luther Jr. celebration also includes film, music, dance, and other creative and performing arts programing.

Kelly Sundberg Seaman