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Seton Hall University

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Registration Opens for Sixth Annual Symposium

Martin Luther King Jr.

Honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Celebrated scholar and author, Professor Obery Hendricks, Ph.D., of the Department of Religion at Columbia University will be the featured keynote speaker at the sixth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Symposium.

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 again offer a special one-credit workshop on Monday, January 15, 2024 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Bethany Hall.

Registration for the day-long event is now open. The event will be offered in-person with a virtual, livestream option offered through Microsoft Teams. 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 (CRN: 14755) via PirateNet for the Spring 2024 Semester. 

Dr Martin Luther King"We are honored to continue our tradition, started in 2019, of addressing ‘what would MLK want us to know and to do about the salient issues of today, such as the challenges to the foundations of American democracy and recognizing the "real" insurrectionist threat in our midst? He would expect us ‘to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’ As we can see in John 8:32, ‘And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free,’" said Rev. Forrest Pritchett, Ph.D, Director, Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Program and Gospel Choir.  

"We are pleased to present celebrated scholar Obery Hendricks of Columbia University, as our 2024 keynote speaker. He is the author of The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted. Dr. King was considered the social prophet of the twentieth century. Hendricks is considered ‘one of the last grand prophetic intellectuals,"

Hendricks has authored the following critically acclaimed books: The Universe Bends Toward Justice: Radical Reflections on the Bible, the Church and the Body Politic (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2011); The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted (New York: Doubleday, 2006). Dallas Evening News Bestseller novel, Living Water (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), National & Essence Magazine Bestseller. His newest book is Christians Against Christianity: How Right-Wing Evangelicals Are Destroying Our Nation and Our Faith (‎New York: Beacon Press, 2021). Additional information about Hendricks’ work can be found on his website

Discussing the schedule of the events, Pritchett noted, "This year we are partnering with the New Jersey MLK Commission. Our program will be one of several, throughout New Jersey, that will be featured in their advertising, as showcase events, open to the public. Freshman MLK Scholars will also offer a presentation on Martin Luther King’s leadership and legacy."

The Martin Luther King Program Scholars will present on the unique aspects and characteristics of Rev. Dr. King’s leadership style and how each leadership attribute was developed in the context of the civil rights movement. The leadership attributes examined will range from how to use your voice effectively to listening to one’s followers to how to build allies.

There will also be an overview of the academic impact of the University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Program, established in 1970, on the Seton Hall culture and on its course offerings. This program is now in its sixth decade of producing graduates with outstanding leadership records, including Outstanding Student Organization of the Year Awards. Graduates received national fellowships to pursue graduate and doctoral study, i.e., Ford Foundation Fellowship Program for Minority Students to complete Ph.D. in science, National Health Service Corps, etc. as well as White House citations for extraordinary volunteer efforts.

In addition to the MLK Day Symposium, all first-year scholars complete the MLK Honors Seminar. The University Core Program, Journey of Transformation course, requires students to listen to Rev. King’s last speech, "I’ve Been to the Mountaintop," and prepare a thorough analysis of it. Faculty members from throughout the university will lead academic discussions throughout the afternoon on relevant issues including oppression, liberation and equity.

Additional course content for the day includes esteemed faculty colleagues presenting informative assessments of historical and contemporary issues and applying their disciplinary skills to discuss a range of topics, including social experience, racism, sexism, classism, religious intolerance, hate speech, instructional content, and teacher preparation. 

There will also be a special panel discussion with Africana Studies Director Stephanie Harris, Ph.D., alongside faculty members Carm R. Almonor, Ph.D., J.D., Nkosi Dubois Anderson, Ph.D., and Rev. Forrest M. Pritchett.

As part of the symposium, participants will also be able to participate in an Interactive Community Idea Board to share their valuable insights, engage and interact with each other, identifying takeaways throughout the day, and share their commitment and actions that could extend beyond the event and into the participants’ communities. 

To view the symposium’s full Schedule of Events and register, please visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Symposium website for more information.

Categories: Arts and Culture