Community Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Week-Long Celebration

By Ryan Dougherty

Swarthmore College is celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a week-long series of events.

The series kicks off Mon., Jan. 20, with "A Conversation with Collin Williams Jr." at 8 a.m. in the Black Cultural Center (BCC). College staff members will enjoy breakfast with Williams, from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, and discuss the barriers to higher education for under-represented student groups.

Williams will then provide the keynote speech, "Like You've Never Seen Obstacles," at 12:30 p.m. at the Welcome Luncheon in Bond Memorial Hall. Recounting his personal experiences as a first-generation college graduate with West Indian roots, Williams will enumerate the struggles of black and Latino students in America and share research he is conducting with UPenn colleague Shaun Harper. Naudia Williams '14 will offer opening remarks.

On Wednesday at noon, there will be a luncheon and brief documentary, The Story of Higher Education for Undocumented Students, at the BCC. The film highlights the revolutionary work of Freedom University and will be followed by lively discussion and closing remarks from Jennifer Marks-Gold, International Students and Scholars Advisor at the College. There will also be a film screening, to be announced, and snacks in the Scheuer Room at 7 p.m.

Capping the series is a collection and reception titled "Reflecting on Our Past and Present: Three Generations of Swarthmore Black Men," on Friday at 12:30 p.m. at Friends Meeting House. Guest speakers Maurice G. Eldridge '61, vice president for College and community relations and executive assistant to the president, Keith Reeves '88, associate professor of political science, and Paul Cato '14 will share their Swarthmore experiences before a special performance from the BCC Gospel Choir.

Series sponsors include the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Development, the BCC, the Black Studies Program, the Deans Office, the Intercultural Center, the Office of the President, the Provost's Office, and the Swarthmore College Gospel Choir.

A full listing of the events.