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GACA Collection 241. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Collection, 1986-Ongoing: Overview

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Collection Description

Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Collection, 1986-Ongoing.  GACA Collection 241.  ½ Hollinger box, 1 oversize folder, and digital media.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Planning Materials collection consists of papers, photocopies, and clippings concerning the annual Martin Luther King Jr. lectures.  Also included are posters, programs, and audio/video recordings.  Lectures are held each year at Gustavus Adolphus College on the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

Historical Note

“The annual lecture was first held in 1986.  Speakers are champions of civil rights and non-violence; their work, and the work of their organizations, reflects the same principles advocated by Dr. King.  Over the years, a number of the lecturers have worked directly with Dr. King.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture was instituted by the Peace Studies program at Gustavus Adolphus College to honor the legacy of Dr. King.  Initially housed solely in Peace Studies, the lecture typically did not occur on the national holiday honoring Dr. King.  Since 2010, the lecture has been a cooperative campus effort and held on the annual day of remembrance.”

*Taken from the website 10 November 2020.

Past Speakers

1986 Vivian Jenkins Nelson, Hubert Humphrey Institute, Director of Administration
1987 Dr. Richard Green, Superintendent of Minneapolis Schools
1989 Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., Close associate of MLK, Jr., Director of Peace Education at Gustavus from 1974-77
1990 Dr. Bernard Powers, Professor of History, N.E. Illinois, University of Chicago
1991 Dorothy Cotton, Founding Member of Southern Christian Leadership Conference
1993 Bernice Reagon, “Sweet Honey in the Rock” Gospel Group
1994 Cornell West, Professor, Princeton University; Prominent Public Intellectual
1995 Arun Gandhi, Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, TN; Grandson of Mohandas Gandhi
1996 Dr. Michael Harper, Professor of English, Brown University; Poet Laureate of Rhode Island
1998 Charles Rankin, Professor of Education, Kansas State University
1999 Dr. Bill Green (GAC ’72), Professor of History, Augsburg College, MN; Former Chair of Minneapolis School Board
2000 Martin Luther King III, son of Martin Luther King, Jr.
2001 Dr. John Wright, Professor of English and African American Studies, University of Minnesota
2002 Dr. Philip Bryant, Associate Professor of English, Gustavus Adolphus College
2003 Dr. Miroslav Volf, Croatian Theologian, Yale;“Living with the Other”
2004 William Greaves, African American Filmmaker on the life of Ralph Bunche
2005 Major Brent Beardsley, Eyewitness to the Rwandan Genocide and former Canadian peacekeeper
2006 Sal y Luz: Peace Churches in Columbia, Representatives from the churches
2007 “Stories of Loss, Hope, and the Power of Nonviolent Activism,” September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
2008 Mixed Blood Theatre performance and Homily by Dr. Bill Green; “Nonviolence for an Age of Terrorism,” Dr. David Cortright, Fourth Freedom Forum
2009 Dr. Henry Williams, Laird Bell Professor of History at Carleton College
2010 Rev. C.T. Vivian, Close friend and Lieutenant of Dr. King during the civil rights movement
2011 Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr., Co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960
2012 Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize winning author, arguably the preeminent biographer of King; “Myths and Miracles for the King Years”
2013 Dr. Cathy J. Cohen, Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago; “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Age of Obama: Building a New Movement for the 21st Century”
2014 Diane Nash, Key figure of the civil rights movement of the 1960s; “Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement”
2015 Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, President and Co-Founder of the Washington Consulting Group and the Social Justice Training Institute
2016 Dr. Rashad Shabazz, Associate Professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University; “Why Geography Matters in the Struggle for Racial Justice”
2017 Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard University and Pusey Minister in Harvard’s Memorial Church; “It Was All a Dream…”
2018 Dr. Joyce Ladner, civil rights activist and sociologist
2019 Rev. Dr. Luke Powery, Dean of Duke University Chapel and Associate Professor of Homiletics at Duke Divinity School; “Diversity in Adversity: Martin Luther King Jr., and the Promise of the ‘World House’”
2020 Donzaleigh Abernathy, “Growing Up with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”


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