2019 MLK Events

Spring 2019

The MLK Initiative: Let Freedom Ring! invites students, faculty and staff to participate in a range of events celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year’s programming is inspired by Dr. King’s philosophy of the “Beloved Community.” #GUBelovedCommunity

Learn more about the initiative here…


Tuesday, January 8th Teach-In for Faculty and Staff: Teach Dr. King’s Speech  

11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Copley Formal Lounge

Lunch will be served.


Nonviolent Resistance: Strategic Campaign Planning

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Arrupe Hall Multipurpose Room


In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., this training is on nonviolent resistance, with particular emphasis on strategic campaign planning. Michael Beer, whose experience includes leadership roles in Nonviolence International and Peace Brigades International, will co-facilitate the training with Nadine Bloch, who is a community organizer and author of Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution.

Nonviolent resistance, as organized resistance to injustice, is a particular practice within the broad spectrum of nonviolent action. Strategic campaign planning is essential for more effective outcomes and maintaining nonviolent discipline in difficult, protracted situations of injustice. This session will include a lot of interaction and some role-plays.


The training is FREE and primarily for students, faculty, and staff members of Georgetown University and designed for about 25 participants. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants are asked to commit to the entire session. Lunch will be provided. For questions, contact Prof. Eli McCarthy. Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by Monday, January 14th to Eli McCarthy. A good faith effort will be made to fulfill requests made after January 14th. Sponsored by the Georgetown Justice and Peace Studies Program.

MLK Day of Learning

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

HFSC Social Room


Georgetown’s Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Georgetown’s Black Graduate Student Alliance (BGSA) are teaming up to host the second annual MLK Day of Learning, “Coalition Building in a World Divided” at Georgetown University. The event will provide Georgetown graduate students with an opportunity to interactively investigate the meaning and relevance of Dr. King’s values and teachings, while incorporating those values in our understanding of self, interaction with others, and commitment to service. The hosts hope participants will uncover ways in which they can challenge established norms and build coalitions toward a collective purpose. The activities of this day will help participants build a toolkit for their professional endeavors with diversity and inclusivity at the core.

Each of the facilitation sessions will be led by diverse leaders from the academic, social justice, business, international relations, and policy communities at Georgetown and the greater Metro Washington, D.C. area. These leaders will help participants discover ways in which they can develop their own plan to effectively mobilize and seek allies/supporters in unexpected places.

The keynote presentation will be given by Washington, D.C-based band, The Experience Band and Show. Their performance will be followed by a quick presentation by their drummer Rafael Gerald regarding his service organization, #BeatforaPurpose, which aims to raise awareness of cerebral palsy and scoliosis.

All students, faculty, and staff of the Georgetown University community are invited to attend.

Let Freedom Ring! Concert

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Millennium Stage, The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts

The annual Legacy of a Dream award recognition night, Let Freedom Ring!, is presented by Georgetown University in collaboration with the Kennedy Center and celebrates the John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream awardee. For 2019, Hawah Kasat, founder of the organization One Common Unity received the award. The Let Freedom Ring! Choir, directed by Rev. Nolan Williams Jr., performed alongside Tony, Emmy, and Grammy-award winning artist, Audra McDonald, and two-time Tony-award winning artist, Brian Stokes Mitchell.

Read more about the Legacy of a Dream Award and this year’s winner here.

Tuesday, January 22nd

Chaplain’s Tea

3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Speaking Up: Responding to Everyday Prejudice, Stereotypes, Bias, and Racism.

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Gewirz 12

Join the Office of Equity & Inclusion for “Speaking Up: Responding to Everyday Prejudice, Stereotypes, Bias, and Racism.” Learn the nationally-renowned four-step protocol developed by Teaching Tolerance and practice these tools with fellow cultural affinity group leaders. These techniques can be used as a method to promote coalition building and collaboration.

A social mixer will immediately follow the training session.



Can I Live!?: Black Women’s Lives in America

12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Scott K. Ginsburg Sport & Fitness Lobby

Join Georgetown Law professors Jill Morrison, Kristin Henning, Paul Butler, and Sheryll Cashin for an important panel discussion on the alarming impact of institutional racism on the lives of Black Women in America. The event is co-sponsored by the MLK Initiative: Let Freedom Ring!, the Women of Color Collective, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and the Black Law Student Association, and the Law Students for Democratic Reform.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be served. For any disability requirements, please email tcp40@georgetown.edu.

Tuesday, February 12th

Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky and “Rebirth of a Nation”

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

McNeir Hall, New North Building

Sponsored by the GU Departments of African American Studies, Performing Arts, and the Racial Justice Institute. Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, discusses racial imagery, social circuitry, and cultural (mis)representation using examples from his film, “Rebirth of a Nation,” a remix of D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film, “The Birth of a Nation.” Miller’s re-telling of this overtly racist story, depicted in the Reconstruction-era Southern U.S., hurtles Griffith’s imagery into the 21st century, a sociopolitical landscape that has evolved beyond all expectations. performingarts.georgetown.edu.

This event, part of the Racial Justice: Art(s) and Activism lecture series, honors Georgetown University’s recent initiative to highlight art, activism, and racial justice by focusing on work by literary, visual, and performance artists whose art serves the ongoing struggle to produce new forms of racial freedom.

Wednesday, February 13th

Melanin in Medicine: Dissecting Diverse Experiences

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Pre-Clinical Science Building Room GA 2/4

Reception to follow.

Melanin in Medicine: Dissecting Diverse Experiences is the culmination of an annual partnership between Georgetown’s President’s Office, The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Georgetown University School of Medicine’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Supported by the MLK Initiative: Let Freedom Ring!, this partnership reinforces the teachings and remembrance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and its application to medicine. This event is the result of four years of collaboration.

Melanin in Medicine: Dissecting Diverse Experiences was inspired by the numerous, often undervalued, African American contributions to medicine. From the immortal Henrietta Lax to medical revolutionaries Jocelyn Elders and Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, we aim to honor, celebrate and bring in-depth conversations about medicine, African American influence, and navigating the practice of medicine as students, patients, and practitioners. Through a series of intimate, thoughtful, and powerful round table discussions, led by physicians, participants will gain knowledge of African American contributions to medicine, an opportunity to network, gain insight into treatment barriers for vulnerable populations, and advice on how to navigate medicine. Each small group will have a specific title with our goal being for every participant to take something meaningful from the conversations they have throughout the evening and to celebrate African American contributions to medicine! The topics include:

Please join us in celebrating the past and preparing for the future. 

Tuesday – Friday, February 19th – 22nd

German Department Teach-In About Dr. King’s Visit to East and West Berlin

All classes in German Department

During the week of February 19th, every single German class will have a “teach-in” about Dr. King’s visit to East and West Berlin on September 13th, 1964. During this important visit, Dr. King visited the Berlin Wall and gave the same sermon on “God’s Children on both sides of the Wall” in both West and East Berlin. This speech, even among German Studies scholars, is not well known, and the German Department hopes to contribute to highlighting a little-known but important aspect of Dr. King’s life and message and its resonance and relevance in then divided Germany and Berlin. The longterm goal is to repeat this teach-in every year in February and to make the materials collected available to colleagues in other German Departments around the country.

Thursday, February 21st

Healing and Justice: Perspectives on Resilience in the African American Community

4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Riggs Library


The MLK Initiative: Let Freedom Ring! invites you to a conversation on “Healing and Justice: Perspectives on Resilience in the African American Community.” The conversation will feature two distinguished panelists, Dr. Lucile Adams-Campbell and Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce, and will be moderated by Dr. Adanna Johnson. This dynamic discussion will explore physical, spiritual, and mental health as it relates to the African American community. Led by three extraordinary women, each leaders in their respective fields, the conversation will focus on their expertise and experience in bridging academia and direct service to the community. A reception will follow the panel.

Friday, February 22nd

Paul Reflections & Milestones: What’s Happening to Black DC?

2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, DC 20004, Ground Floor Atrium

The Council of the District of Columbia will celebrate Black History Month with a program at the historic John A. Wilson Building. The event is open to the DC community and will include reflections by Professor Maurice Jackson, Georgetown University Associate Professor of History and African-American Studies on Georgetown’s analysis and report, African American Employment, Population & Housing Trends in Washington, DC. The program will also include feature Lamont King of Thinkertainment, Temi Bennet, Esq., from the Consumer Health Foundation, and performances by Ballou High School Choir and Blacks in Wax, Cora Masters Barry.

Saturday, February 23rd

Evening of Hope and Resistance

6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Copley Formal Lounge

This year, the MLK Initiative: Let Freedom Ring! honors Dr. King’s legacy of captivating hearts and ears through an evening of spoken word, poetry, and music. We hope that through this evening of reflection and artistic expression we can stir imaginations for change and hope for the future. Please join us in an evening of beloved community.

Wednesday, February 27th

Race and Higher Education: “Hoyas Building a Beloved Community: A conversation with Georgetown’s Equity and Inclusion Leadership”

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


This year’s annual “Race and Higher Education” event of the MLK Initiative: Let Freedom Ring! will feature a conversation on issues of justice, equity, and inclusion in higher education with three university leaders: Susan Cheng, Ed.L.D., M.P.P., Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, School of Medicine; Judith Pérez-Caro, Ph.D., Director of Equity and Inclusion, GU Law Center; and Adanna Johnson, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean of Students & Director of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, Main Campus. Faculty and staff are invited for a community gathering over lunch at 11:30 a.m. with the formal event starting at 12:00 p.m. Hear about the realities and visions of a Beloved Community at Georgetown University from three campus scholars who have dedicated their professional careers to supporting the success of first-generation and underrepresented students in higher education. This event is hosted by the Center for Social Justice. Please let us know you are coming and RSVP here.


Thursday, March 14th & Friday, March 15th

Friday Music Series: Khris Royal and Dark Matter

7 p.m. Thursday, March 14th: Film screening of ANNA
Film Screening Classroom, New South Building

1:15 p.m. Friday, March 15th: Friday Music Series
McNeir Auditorium

Saxophonist Khris Royal’s ancestors, Nace and Biby Butler, were among the people sold by the Jesuits of Maryland down to plantations in Southern Louisiana in 1838. Royal represents the living tradition of jazz music in New Orleans, and he consistently explores and re-imagines the relations between jazz, funk, rock, and hip hop. He has played with a wide range of artists including Lettuce; Bobby Brown; Alvin Batiste; Ellis Marsalis; Christian Scott; Branford, Delfeayo, and Jason Marsalis; Tony Clifton; The Sam Kininger Band; and Johnta Austin. Royal has also recorded with Mary J. Blige, Ashanti, Nelly and the Game, Erykah Badu, and D.J. Quick. He composed and performed the soundtrack for the award-winning short film ANNA (2018), which will also screen on campus at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 14th, in the Film Screening Classroom, New South Building. ANNA tells the story of Ann Williams and her struggle to secure freedom from slavery for herself and her family. Through telling William’s story in music, Royal uses cultural expression to call for racial justice. On March 15, Khris Royal will perform with his group Dark Matter as part of the Department of Performing Arts’ Friday Music Series, reconnecting Georgetown with New Orleans and reminding us of the journey and struggle of the GU272 and the ongoing work of reconciliation.

Co-sponsored with Georgetown College, Film & Media Studies Program, American Studies Program, and CNDLS.

Sundays, March 17th, 24th, 31st, and April 7th

Finding Your Voice

7:00 p.m.

Holy Trinity Church, 3513 N Street NW

Protestant Ministry is presenting a dynamic speaker series to honor Women’s History Month, featuring Women in Ministry. This series aims to empower, inspire, ignite, and illuminate the voices of women of every age, race, and faith tradition. The series will take place the last three Sundays of March and the first Sunday of April.

Thursday, March 21st

Dr. Melvin Butler, University of Miami – Playing with Fire: Sound, Transcendence, and Protest in African Diasporic Ritual Performance 

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Robert and Bernice Wagner Alumni House, 3604 O St., NW

This talk explores black music as a means of claiming cultural legitimacy and contesting forces of racialized oppression. Drawing on ethnomusicological fieldwork in African American and Caribbean ritual contexts, it examines “heated” music making as an embodied cultural strategy of resistance and protest. Theologies of sound and transcendence lend themselves to creative modes of spiritual warfare, through which practitioners hope to effect positive social transformation in the here and now. Dr. Melvin L. Butler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Musicology at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. He specializes in music and religion in Haitian, Jamaican, and African American communities.

Part of the the Department of Performing Arts’ “Racial Justice: Art(s) and Activism” lecture series, this event honors Georgetown’s recent initiative to highlight art, activism, and racial justice by focusing on work by literary, visual and performance artists whose art serves the ongoing struggle to produce new forms of racial freedom. Co-sponsored by the GU Department of African American Studies and the Racial Justice Institute.

Thursday, March 21st – Saturday March 23rd

Black Theater Ensemble Presents: The Colored Museum 

Thursday & Friday, March 21 and 22 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m.

Saturday, March 23 at 8 p.m.

Davis Performing Arts Center, Devine Studio Theatre

Bringing the Black experience and contemporary cultural myths to life in revolving exhibits, The Colored Museumis a winding and musical tour through a history of American Blackness. An electrifying and discomforting satire directed by Mar Cox (COL’17), The Colored Museum‘s exhibits showcase stereotypes within Black American culture that linger in our post-Trump society. This tour is anything but a one-sided observation–filled with dancing, mania, laughter, and pain, the exhibits take audiences and artists deep, confronting clichés, history and representation. Written in 1986 by George C. Wolfe, this 32-year old dark comedy will once again be produced by the Black Theatre Ensemble, marking the club’s 40th Anniversary. Join us for a timely yet timeless journey. Contains explicit language.


Tuesday, April 2nd

What’s the Point?

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Lohrfink Auditorium

Join the Black Student Alliance in welcoming Demetrius Harmon, previously known as MeechonMars, to campus. In this discussion titled “What’s the Point?”, Demetrius will discuss the importance of mental health and finding our purpose in a world that undervalues your worth.

Monday, April 15th

Georgetown Slavery Archive Crowd-Sourced Transcription Event

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Riggs Library

Join researchers from the Georgetown Slavery Archive to learn more about the process of research, transcription, interpretation, and digitization that makes archival materials about Georgetown, the Maryland Jesuits, and slavery available to the public. Participants will learn about current research and the history of enslavement in the Maryland Province, and they will have the opportunity to help transcribe archival materials used to better understand the lives of those who were enslaved.

Participants may join for any portion of the morning, but it is strongly recommended to bring a laptop in order to participate. If you have any questions or accommodation requests, please email presofficeevents@georgetown.edu.


Monday, April 15th

A Public Lecture with Christy Coleman: Reclaiming the American Civil War Narrative

2:00 p.m.

Gaston Hall

Christy Coleman currently serves as CEO of the American Civil War Museum, located in Richmond and Appomattox, Virginia. In her role as CEO, she has been instrumental in furthering discussion around the Civil War, its legacies, and its relevance to our lives today, not only in the Richmond region but around the nation as well. In 2013, as President and CEO of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (ACWC), she helped orchestrate the merger of the ACWC with the Museum of the Confederacy to create the American Civil War Museum. She previously served as President and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit and has been named one of the “31 People Changing the South” by TIME.


Tuesday, April 16th

A Service of Remembrance

5:00 p.m.

Dahlgren Chapel

Please join the campus community at a service to honor the memory of the 272 children, women, and men enslaved and sold by the Maryland Jesuits in 1838. As part of the service, we will read and hear the names of the 272 ancestors.


Saturday, April 18th – Sunday, April 19th

Sankofa Retreat

Calcagnini Contemplative Center

The Black Law Student Association and the Office of Campus Ministry are sponsoring the second annual Sankofa: Identity and Purpose retreat. This retreat is an opportunity for Black Law students and alumni to focus on spiritual, emotional, and psychological tools for thriving within their lives. The 2019 retreat will take place Saturday, April 18th through Sunday, April 19th at Georgetown’s Calcagnini Contemplative Center.

Tuesday, April 30th

2020 Census: Race Counts

3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Fisher Colloquium


The Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership and the McCourt School of Public Policy invite you to “2020 Census: Race Counts,” a discussion about how the proposed changes to the 2020 census will affect the United States. The decennial census is the basis for the allocation of political representation, billions in federal resources, and decision-making in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Undercounted communities are not evenly distributed across the country nor are the implications in terms of resources and representation, which last a decade. People of color have been historically undercounted, especially people of color who are also low-income, mobile, LGBTQ, or immigrant. An accurate census count is critical to overcoming the perpetuation of historical and political barriers to full participation, voice, power, and equity in our democracy. The event will feature a discussion with national experts on why a fair census count is so critical, a release of new research on racial equity, and the award of $20,000 by McCourt graduate students to D.C. nonprofits. The panel will feature Bob Groves, Ph.D., the Georgetown Provost and former Director of the U.S. Census Bureau; Vanita Gupta, J.D., the President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Gary Bass, Ph.D., the Executive Director of The Bauman Foundation; and Rashad Robinson, the President of Color of Change.