Listen, Reflect, Commemorate: King Day on Campus Jan. 19

Davidson College invites the public to an extensive series of events Monday, Jan. 19, to commemorate Martin Luther King Day. The schedule includes activities for children, performances, talks and seminars focused on social justice. The keynote speakers will be Rev. Charles White Jr., national field director for Al Sharpton's National Action Network, and Professor Marc Lamont Hill, a leading journalist and intellectual. The full schedule is listed below. There is no charge to attend any of the presentations, all of which will take place in the Alvarez College Union. For more information call 704-894-2225.

King Day for Kids

9 - 11 a.m., Alvarez College Union, Brown Atrium

King Day for Kids is open to kindergarten through fifth grade children, and focuses on three areas-literacy, social justice and community engagement. Children will take part in small group readings, arts and crafts, storytelling, and expressions of their dreams. Children will receive literacy-based goodie bags at the end of the event. Registration is required by Monday, Jan. 12. For additional information, contact Kyle Goodfellow at or 704-894-2460.

Civil Rights Cinema

"White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son"

9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Alvarez College Union, Room 313

The film White Like Me by acclaimed anti-racist educator Tim Wise explores race and racism in the United States through the lens of whiteness and white privilege. Wise reassesses the American ideal of meritocracy and claims that the country has entered a post-racial society. The film looks at white entitlement programs that built the American middle class, and argues that our failure as a society to come to terms with the legacy of white privilege continues to perpetuate racial inequality and race-driven political resentments today.

Dr. Martin Luther King Mid-Day Lecture - Rev. Charles L. White

11:30 a.m., Alvarez College Union, C. Shaw Smith 900 Room

Rev. Charles L. White is national field director of Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network. Known as a strategic thinker, coalition builder, visionary and activist, Rev. White has dedicated his life to the promotion of civil and human rights. For more than 30 years, he has worked as an advocate for social justice with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He has served the NAACP's national staff as Youth Director of the Southeast Region, Director for the Southeast Region, and most recently served as the National Director of Field Operations and Director of Field Organizing.

Rev. White was the first African-American member of the University of South Carolina Chaplains Association and of the Clover Rotary Club. In 1993 he won a suit against the Buffalo Room in North Augusta, S.C., for refusing to serve him and other NAACP officials because of their race. The suit led to the adoption of a strong Public Accommodations Law by the South Carolina Legislature.

Rev. White and the NAACP a decade later used the Buffalo Bill to prevail against several businesses in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for discriminatory practices during the annual Labor Day Black Bike Week.

MLK Seminar Series

"Aliens, Illegals and Terrorists: Racialized Experiences of Immigrant Students of Color"

Moderator: Tae-Sun Kim, Director of Multicultural Affairs

Panelists: Kassim Alani '15, Judith Rosales Rivas '17, Iqra Tabassum '18, Anmar Jerjees '18

1:30 - 2:45 p.m., Alvarez College Union, Smith 900 Room

This panel of students will share stories of their immigration experience in the United States and at Davidson College. They will focus on how they and their family members learned the written and unwritten rules of where they fit, and how they were positioned in the racial history, memory and culture of their new communities because of origin, religion, ethnicity, undocumented status, physical features and dress.

"Mythbuster: Debunking Race as Biology"

Presenter: Professor of Anthropology Helen Cho

1:30 - 2:45 p.m., Alvarez College Union, Sprinkle Room

One of the most pernicious myths in American society is that races represent natural units of our species. While the idea that "race is a social construct" has become a popular academic cliché, many struggle to explain its incongruence with racial classification that is largely based on biological features such as skin color. Professor Helen Cho will speak about ways to deconstruct and debunk the race-as-biology myth, which continues to perpetuate stereotypes that associate certain races with criminality, intelligence, sexual behavior, athleticism and other behaviors.

"Dear Black Men:  Love Letters From Women of Color Who Are Struggling With You Against Racism and Fighting Against You About Sexism"

Moderator: Laurian Bowles, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Panelists: Amani Carter '16, Meron Fessehaye '16, Gladys McLean '15

3 - 4:15 p.m., Alvarez College Union, Smith 900 Room

A panel of Davidson College students will explore issues within the black civil rights struggle on and off college campuses, such as male dominance and heterosexist, classist and ageist agendas. Panelists will use love letters to initiate a dialogue about how to have a more inclusive movement for black freedom.

"Material Representation of Blackness in Professional Basketball"

Presenter: Kassim Alani '15

3 - 4:15 p.m., Alvarez College Union, Room 303

This presentation will explore how both Nike and the National Basketball Association portray black professional basketball players through the exploitation of "Blackness."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Evening Lecture - Professor Marc Lamont Hill

7 p.m., Alvarez College Union, Smith 900 Room

Marc Lamont Hill, Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College, is one of the country's leading hip-hop generation intellectuals, covering topics such as culture, politics and education. Hill has lectured widely, and provides regular commentary for media outlets like NPR, Washington Post, Essence Magazine and the New York Times. He is the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Our World with Black Enterprise, which airs Sunday mornings on TV One. He also was a political commentator for Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor. In 2005, Ebony Magazine named him one of America's top 30 Black leaders under 30, and in 2011 Ebony named him one of America's 100 most influential Black leaders.


  • January 12, 2015