When will freedom ring?

UC celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with virtual events that ‘ring’ of hope, promise, success

“When will freedom ring?” is a familiar sentiment that continues to ring throughout the world.

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the University of Cincinnati’s African American Cultural & Resource Center (AACRC) invites the faculty, staff, students and regional community to two days of virtual celebration on Thursday, Jan. 13, and Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Packed full of enlightened discussions on the continued struggle for equality and freedom in a number of sectors of society, live and video presentations will help offer open dialogue  while shedding light on collaborative ways to move forward — important tenets of UC's Next Lives Here strategic direction.

“The new virtual format allows us to open the celebrations to the larger Cincinnati regional community,” says Eric Watford, program coordinator of UC’s AACRC. “Opening the event discussions to more outside viewers will shed light on current obstacles while helping to find solutions and break down barriers people continue to face each day.”

UC's College of Medicine also honors MLK Day with suggested readings, videos and ways to volunteer.

"Because of the pandemic, the new reality has shown a light on healthcare disparities, as well as inequalities in social justice," says Lisa Johnson, interim associate dean, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in UC's College of Medicine. "Dr. King's words, though spoken long ago about racism, bias and inequalities, still resonate in the issues of this moment and point us to the right mentality: Embrace change, continue to shape change and make that change positive, rather than flinching from it."

Please join the UC community in one of the 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

'When will freedom ring?' A celebration to continue MLK’s dream

11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 13Zoom

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, the “When will freedom ring?” virtual discussion will help promote awareness of society’s lack of commitment to properly position all people freely with respect to principles of culture, race, religion and sex in all walks of life globally.

Keynote speaker newly elected Cincinnati Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney will be joined by student presenters Akua Wilson and Anthony Stone with anticipated remarks via video by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown

While Dr. King was a Christian, Jordan Bankston will offer a universal prayer that acknowledges how King respected all religions and belief systems, as well as the rights of those who do not share his Christian beliefs.

To help acknowledge the spirit of Dr. King within the UC community, the third annual Embodiment of Hope social justice awards will be presented to a UC faculty or staff member and to a UC student. Honorees are chosen by their peers for exemplifying the highest caliber of spirit while implementing Dr. King’s vision and positively affecting the lives of others in the community.

The program invites the UC community of students to learn more about advocacy and continue to participate in activities and discussions on race and identities.

Join the virtual Zoom format — RSVP required

‘When will freedom ring?’ Social justice advocacy training day

11 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18Zoom

Further inspired to take the MLK commemorations one step further, the “When will freedom ring?” collaborative committee added an Advocacy Training Day virtual event. 

Understanding that everyone’s story and experiences differ, the AACRC, Center for Community Engagement and Center of Civic Engagement designed this virtual platform to discuss social justice issues that presently impact diverse communities. The program will include short films with engaging discussions while providing a space for people to be authentic, while having the room to practice self-reflection.

Discussions include:

  • Forms of oppression and racism
  • Steps to be an advocate
  • Ways to identify an advocacy opportunity
  • How to plan your advocacy journey

Facilitators include:

  • Keith Lanser, assistant director, Center for Community Engagement
  • Brittany Goodrum, administrative coordinator for student affairs Leadership & Engagement
  • Eric Watford, program coordinator, student affairs AACRC
  • Cerelia Bizzell, assistant director, student affairs AACRC

Join the virtual Zoom format — RSVP required 

The programs are co-sponsored by UC’s AACRC; UC's College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH); School of Information Technology; CECH Innovations & Community Partnership; Ethnic Programs & Services; University Honors Program; Africana Studies and the Center for Community Engagement.

The time is always ripe to do right

UC's College of Medicine joins in celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day by honoring and reflecting on his inspirational legacy, vision for social justice and his choice for peaceful advocacy for all civil and human rights.

"Dr. King not only focused on racism but he also dealt with issues of genered stereotypes, poverty and privilege," says Johnson.

As the university community moves forward through 2022, Johnson shares ways to reflect and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King:


Featured image at top: Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington, D.C. photo/provided

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