Claudia Rankine, Renowned Poet, to be 2016 MLK Convocation Keynote Speaker
Fairfield University’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. observance, “Standing Up to Racism: The Urgency for Change,” will be held from January 25-29, 2016 with a series of events to celebrate the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Claudia Rankine, an award-winning poet, will be this year’s keynote speaker at the 2016 MLK, Jr. Convocation, which will be held on Wednesday, January 27 at 7 p.m. at the Quick Center for the Arts. Ms. Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, two plays, and numerous anthologies. Her book of poetry, “Citizen: An American Lyric,”won the 2014 National Book Circle Award, Forward Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the Los Angeles Time Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award. In addition to her literary work, she is the Aerol Arnold Chair for the University of Southern California. The event will include the announcement of winners of the Vision Awards and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest for Bridgeport middle school students. Following the Convocation, there will be a reception and a special performance by Fairfield University’s Glee Club’s a capella groups, Sweet Harmony and the Bensonians.
The other Convocation events include:
A screening of the film “Fruitvale Station” on Monday, January 25 at 6 p.m. in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Media Room. Following the film, there will be a panel discussion.
Students, faculty, and members of the Fairfield community are invited to participate in the Memorial March to raise awareness about the history of social injustice and activism on campus on Tuesday, January 26 at 3:30 p.m. in front of Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Performing for Change, a student group that addresses social issues through performance, will be held on Thursday, January, 28 at 4p.m. in the Barone Campus Center Oak Room.
On Friday, January 29 at 10 a.m., 100 local eighth-grade students will participate in the Youth Leadership Academy in the Barone Campus Center Oak Room, where they will learn valuable leadership and conflict resolution skills.
The final event is the eighth annual Poetry for Peace on Friday, January 29 at 6 p.m., which will be held at the Quick Center for the arts. For this event, elementary school students from neighboring communities will come to campus to share their award-winning poetry.
Wylie Smith Blake, campus minister of Community Outreach, and Dr. Kris Sealey, associate professor of Philosophy, are the co-chairs of this year’s MLK observance.
All events are free and open to the public.