College of Arts and Sciences

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Symposium Provides Perspectives on Racism, Privilege and Justice  

Martin Luther King Jr. To honor the 20th century social prophet Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies will again offer a special one-credit workshop to be held virtually on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. MLK Day Symposium 2022: "Perspectives on Racism, Privilege and Justice" will take place on Monday, January 17, 2022. A Musical and Historical Interlude will take place at 8:45 a.m. The program is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will be offered through Microsoft Teams Live. 

The workshop is open to all Seton Hall undergraduates, professionals and alumni as well as the external community at no cost, however, registration is required. Seton Hall undergraduates who wish to receive one credit may register for AFAM 3291: MLK Day Symposium via PirateNet under Spring Semester. Undergraduate students will be assigned three post-event essays to complete course requirements, and the course evaluation will be PASS/FAIL. Non-credit attendees can register for the morning, afternoon or both sessions.   

Seton Hall undergraduates who do not wish to receive the one credit, as well as Seton Hall graduate students, alumni and employees and community members may register here. Please contact the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies at (973) 761-9087 or [email protected] with any questions regarding registration. 

"Rev. Dr. King once said that 'The time is always right to do right.' This comes from the 1965 commencement address Dr. King delivered at Oberlin College in Ohio. The address was entitled, "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution," said Rev. Forrest M. Pritchett, Ph.D., Senior Adviser to Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He is the Program Director for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Program & Gospel Choir. He is a Professor of Africana Studies and the University Core.   
Rev. Pritchett explained that the quote reminds us that the time is always right to do that which is right. The context of the speech deals with Rip Van Winkle in the mountains. Rip Van Winkle is an amiable farmer who wanders into the Catskill Mountains, where he comes upon a group of dwarfs playing ninepins. Rip accepts their offer of a drink of liquor and promptly falls asleep. When he awakens, twenty years later, he is an old man with a long white beard; the dwarfs are nowhere in sight. King mentions that Rip saw a picture of King George in a store window when he first arrived in the mountains. When he awoke, there was a picture of George Washington. Rip slept through a great revolution.   
Rev. Pritchett said, "This quote reminds us that we must be attentive to the shifts occurring within our social spheres. The question for today is, are we sleeping through a great revolution and what will be the consequences of our sleeping?  The pandemic of Covid presents many challenges in the areas of health, emotional tensions, employment workplaces, economic stability, and political foundations. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, 'that which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.' How are these major challenges being dealt with? Are we aware of all the challenges and their enduring impacts? How are we and the society changing and what must be changed?  Are we becoming stronger or complacent?"
Encouraging the University community to participate in this groundbreaking opportunity, Rev. Pritchett shared that during the symposium, esteemed faculty colleagues will present informative assessments of historical and contemporary issues and apply their disciplinary skills to both historical and contemporary views on society, racism, sexism, classism, religious intolerance, hate speech, instructional content, teacher preparation, among others. This will help to build a community of committed and civically engaged servant leaders.   

Following the workshop, at 4 p.m. the Community Coalition on Race will host a related virtual program with members of the South Orange-Maplewood community, SOMA Community MLK Day Luminary Event. We invite members of the Seton Hall community and their families to participate in the virtual luminary lighting event by visiting the South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race website.

Symposium Agenda 

8:45 – 11: 30 a.m. - Morning Program 

  • Musical and Historical Interlude - Morehouse Glee Club Choir  
  • Symposium Introduction - Karen A. Passaro, J.D., Dean, Continuing Education and Professional Studies  
  • Welcome - Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., President, Seton Hall University   
  • Statement of Academic Purpose - Georita Frierson, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts and Sciences   
  • Prayers for Peace and Harmony - Clergy of the Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Protestant Faith Traditions   
  • Litany for Martin Luther King  
  • Strategic Plan and Initiatives - Katia Passerini, Ph.D., Provost and Executive Vice President, Seton Hall University   
  • Cultural Presentation & MLK Intellectual Legacy - Rev. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D., Senior Adviser to Provost on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion   
  • All Struggles Matter: A History of Black Resistance - From Civil Rights to Human Rights, The Civil Rights Movement - Kelly Harris, Ph.D., Chair, Africana Studies  
  • MLK Speaks - Student Voices    
  • Catholic Teaching: Prophets, Saints and Justice - Rev. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D.  
  • The Quotable King - Rev. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D., Senior Adviser to Provost, DEI 

11:30 a.m. - Lunch Break  
12:30-3 p.m. - Afternoon Program/Faculty Presentations   

  • Racism and the Bible - Charles Carter, Ph.D., Religious Studies   
  • History and Racism - Larry Green, Ph.D., History  
  • Race as Privilege - W. King Mott, Ph.D., Political Science   
  • Education and Racism - Edmund Adjapong, Ph.D., Education   
  • Racism and Communications - Jon Radwin, Ph.D., Communications and the Arts; Todd Stockdale, Ph.D., Core Fellow   
  • Social Justice in the Non-Profit Sector - Roseanne Mirabella, Ph.D., Political Science; Jamila Davis, Ph.D., Center for Community Renewal and Engagement  
  • Paradigms of Peace and Wellness - Juan Rios, Ph.D., Social Work; Anthony Nicotera, Ph.D., Social Work   
  • Faculty Panel - Mary Balkun, Ph.D., English; Mark Horowitz, Ph.D., Sociology; David Laviska, Ph.D., Chemistry; Natalie Neubauer, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathology; Eric Johnston Ph.D., Theology, Rev. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D.; Gail Vignola, English
  • Closing - Rev. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D.  

Categories: Arts and Culture

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