The Vanderbilt community observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a series of lectures, service activities and events Jan. 13-17. The theme of the 2017 commemoration was “Justice and Democracy? Revolutionizing our American Myths.”
Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion George C. Hill, Associate Provost and Dean of Students Mark Bandas, Owen Graduate School of Management Dean Eric Johnson and a large contingent of Vanderbilt students, faculty, staff and administrators participated in the Nashville Freedom March Jan. 16 from the Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church to Tennessee State University’s Gentry Center. That afternoon, Nashville Freedom Rider and former Metro Council member Kwame Lillard conducted a tour for students of significant sites in the Nashville civil rights movement, among other activities planned on campus.
The MLK series keynote event was held Monday evening in Langford Auditorium. Kimberlé Crenshaw, a leading authority in the area of civil rights, black feminist legal theory, and race, racism and the law, delivered the keynote address. In addition, an inspirational interfaith service was held, followed by middle and high school student winners of the university’s annual MLK essay contest reading their winning entries.