University hosts voices of resiliency in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

February 08, 2022

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gestures with his hand during a speech.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dream Week came to be last year under the leadership of Don C. Sawyer III, Multicultural Education and the Department of Cultural and Global Engagement as an annual Quinnipiac series of events.

While the week is still rooted in MLK’s legacy, this year is different because there is a focus on “Voices of Resilience.”

There is an emphasis on what is happening currently in terms of social justice and civil and human rights juxtaposed with what’s occurring within the Bobcat community. The week’s calendar of events highlights Black voices and people creating change through the arts and storytelling.

When asked about the week’s significance, Director of Multicultural Education & Training Daymen Layne emphasized the importance of King's legacy in American history.

“As we try to move inclusive excellence forward at Quinnipiac, it is one of our goals in Multicultural Education to honor the heroes of America’s past, as well as continuing to create an environment that recognizes the true breadth of King’s work, and not the sanitized version that many of us may have come to know,” Layne said. “MLK Dream Week and the honoring of King’s legacy are aspirations for where our community should be with the fight for social, racial and systemic justice in America and how we should relate to one another as human beings.”

The week kicked off with a screening and discussion of “John Lewis: Good Trouble” and later in the week includes events of keynote speakers like Adriane Jefferson, the director of arts & cultural affairs for New Haven. Also, the Quinnipiac community will be able to hear about the Cultural Equity Plan followed up by a conversation on anti-racism on campus with Layne. The week ends with two theatrical readings of Steve Driffin’s “Death by a Thousand Cuts: A Requiem for Black and Brown Men.”

Veronica Jacobs, the associate director for multicultural education, recognizes the spirit of collaboration for this year’s MLK Dream Week and Black History Month as a whole. The Department of Cultural and Global Engagement partnered with the Student Programming Board, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Quinnipiac theater program.

Jacobs hopes MLK Dream Week allows the Quinnipiac community to reflect on the legacy of King and to remember the work must continue.

“We have a responsibility to use our voices and actions to shift the culture here at Quinnipiac and beyond and to consider what Dr. King quoted as life's most persistent question: ‘what are you doing for others?’” Jacobs shared.

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