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Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Symposium 2021

Monday, January 18, 2021
8:45 a.m. - 4 p.m.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of America's most revered advocates for racial justice and social change, the College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies, will once again offer a special one-credit workshop to be held on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The day-long event will be offered online through Microsoft Teams. The link to join the event will be sent to registrants in an upcoming communication.

Course content for the day includes Dr. King's contributions toward, and the analysis of, liberation, peace and the struggle against oppression. Additional content covers institutional racism, micro aggression, rhetoric, privilege, racism in the media profession, health care and law, and anti-racism behavior.

Following the workshop, members of the South Orange-Maplewood community will display luminaries (decorated paper bags with candles) in front of their homes to commemorate the legacy of Dr. King in combatting racism and inequality. We invite members of the Seton Hall community, including those who live outside of the South Orange-Maplewood community, to join in this event, now in its 20th year, organized by the South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race.

Those wishing to participate may obtain luminaries with battery candles by 4 p.m. on Friday, January 15, outside the office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences in Fahy Hall 118. Luminary kits with traditional candles may be picked up at the following local businesses: Sparkhouse Kids, Able Baker, True Salvage, Pet Wants and the General Store Cooperative. Participants are asked to make a donation of $10/kit (three luminaries), payable online for the battery luminary kits, or at a local business for the kits with traditional candles. Anyone who wishes to put out a luminary on the Seton Hall campus should opt for the battery kit; no open flames are permitted. 

Participants will put out their luminaries at 4:45 p.m. At 5 p.m., there will be cultural events organized by Rev. Forrest Pritchett. Click here to join these cultural events live.

How to Register

If you are a Seton Hall:

  • Undergraduate who does *not* wish to receive credit
  • Graduate student
  • Alumnus/alumna
  • Employee

Register Here

If you are a Seton Hall undergraduate looking to earn credit, please register via PirateNet.

Register Here

If you are a member of the surrounding community, please register via Xenegrade.

Register Here


9:00 - 11:00 a.m

Morning Program


Symposium Introduction
Karen A. Passaro, J.D.
Dean, Continuing Education and Professional Studies


Welcome to Seton Hall University 
Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D.
President, Seton Hall University


Statement of Academic Purpose
Peter Shoemaker, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences


Prayers for Peace and Harmony
Clergy of the Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Protestant Faith Traditions


Strategic Plan
Katia Passerini, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President, Seton Hall University


Cultural Presentation
Dance/Cultural Ensemble


MLK Academic Overview
Rev. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D.
Senior Adviser to Provost on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


The Civil Rights Movement 
Kelly Harris, Ph.D. 
Chair, Africana Studies


MLK Leadership Legacy
Rev. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D.
Senior Adviser to Provost on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


Student Presentation – recital of speech

12:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon Program


"MLK Speaks"
Keynote: Rev. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D. - Senior Adviser to Provost on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Faculty Discussions:

  1. Racism and the Bible Charles Carter, Ph.D. – Religious Studies
  2. History and RacismLarry Green, Ph.D. – History                       
  3. Racism in Medical Ideology and PracticeKirk Johnson, DMH – Religious Studies
  4. Education and Racism Edmund Adjapong, Ph.D. – Education
  5. Racism and CommunicationsJoseph Torres, FreePress.Net (Outside speaker)
  6. Race as PrivilegeW. King Mott, Ph.D. – Political Science
  7. The Civil Rights Movement – Kelly Harris, Ph.D. – Africana Studies
  8. Domestic TerrorismRev. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D. – Provost Office & MLK Leadership Program
  9. How to be Anti-Racist – Angela Kotsonis, M.A. – Communications & Arts Consultant (SHU Adjunct - Spring 2021, AFAM)
  10. Closing Rev. Dr. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D.
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