In honor of one of America's most revered advocates for social change, the College of Arts and Sciences will offer a special one-credit symposium to be held on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 20, 2020 in Bethany Hall. Now in its second year, the symposium is open to all Seton Hall undergraduates, alumni, teachers, community advocates and University personnel. Pre-registration by January 16 is required to attend.
The program will start at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.
- For current undergraduates, the course AFAM 3291: MLK Day Symposium falls under flat tuition and is no additional cost. Any undergraduates who have already met the maximum number of credits and are interested in participating should contact their respective dean's office.
- Alumni and Seton Hall employees should contact CEPS for registration information.
- For community members the cost for the course is $50. Those who would like to attend should register here.
Please contact the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies at (973) 761-9087 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.
Course content includes Dr. King's contributions toward an analysis of oppression, liberation and peace, with additional content on institutional racism, micro-aggression, rhetoric, privilege and law. Special features focus on K-12 teacher content development in accordance with New Jersey QSAC standards and mandates from the Amistad Commission, as well as MLK on diversity issues in the corporate workplace.
There will also be a keynote presentation by the newly appointed director of Africana Studies, Dr. Kelly Harris. "The celebration of Dr. King is now an annual tradition across the United States, but like many traditions, the passage of time threatens to mask the purpose of why we observe the tradition," he says. "Dr. King is often celebrated for his allegiance to non-violence and his status as 'the prince of peace.' While these certainly apply to him more than anyone else, we must always remember his unwavering commitment to economic and social justice. Doing so challenges us today as much as he challenged us at the time of his assassination. We should understand that the message of Dr. King is not simply of a foregone era, reserved for 'celebrations' of his life. To truly celebrate Dr. King, we must grapple with the most challenging parts of his message and how it still applies today."
At the conclusion of the symposium, participants are invited to take part in the luminary celebration sponsored by the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race. Those who stay for the project will write messages of peace and non-violence on small bags while enjoying hot chocolate. The luminaries will then be placed around the University seal.
The objective for the day, according to program concept developer Rev. Dr. Forrest Pritchett, is to reflect on the following: "If the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would call our attention to peace and the role of the peacemaker. Without a doubt the message of peace on earth would be the timely subject. A peacemaker is a person who helps others solve a conflict and reach a peaceful solution. An individual can be a peacemaker, and there are also organizations that work as peacemakers."
"There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Peter Shoemaker, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, commented on the significance of King in the context of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition:
"Dr. King echoed one of the major themes of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition when he stressed the moral function of education in a 1947 essay for the Morehouse College student paper. 'We must remember that intelligence is not enough,' he affirmed. 'Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.' The College of Arts and Sciences is a proud cosponsor of this year's MLK Symposium, contributing faculty expertise from a wide range of disciplines within the college in order to celebrate Dr. King's message of racial and social justice."
The Provost's Office, the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies, and the College of Arts and Sciences are all involved in the preparation of the course. Cosponsor entities include the College of Education and Human Services, the Division of Student Services and Freshman Studies.