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Northeastern to celebrate life, legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with weeklong tribute

One could argue that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights work in the mid-20th century moved the country closer to racial equality. His “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered more than 50 years ago, remains one of the greatest speeches in American history. King’s tenacity, his core beliefs, and his giving “voice to the voiceless” is why we continue to celebrate his legacy today.

This year Hamilton star Renée Elise Goldsberry, an acclaimed actress, singer, and songwriter, will headline the university’s annual commemoration of King’s life and legacy at an event Tuesday afternoon led by President Joseph E. Aoun (3 p.m., Blackman Auditorium).

Northeastern will host several other events dedicated to the late civil rights leader throughout the week and beyond. Here’s what’s happening on campus.

Gallery 360

A new exhibit in Gallery 360 fea­tures the paintings—on loan from the Museum of the National Center of Afro-​​American Artists, located in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood—by artists Mar­i­lene Phipps and Diane Westbrook. The show is open through late February.

A Tribute to the Dream

This annual event is the centerpiece of Northeastern’s weeklong celebration of King and his life’s work. The event, which will be held in Blackman Auditorium on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 3 p.m., will feature a performance and speech by Goldsberry, who won Tony and Grammy awards for her role as Angelica Schuyler Church in the Broadway smash hit Hamilton.

Professional development

On Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 11:45 a.m. at the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, the NU DREAM initiative and professional development gathering of the university’s staff of color will celebrate the energy of the new year while reflecting on King’s importance in the workplace.

Discussing civil rights today

Join the Northeastern School of Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project and the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 11:45 a.m. in the Curry Student Center Ballroom for a discussion on “Civil rights today and strategies for the future.” The event will feature guest speaker Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.

At noon on Thursday, Jan. 19, the Social Justice Resource Center will host a dialogue to explore the public critiques and historical memory of leaders like King and voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer while connecting them to current movements and their leaders.

Pause for peace

Interfaith Pause for Peace—the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service’s weekly reflection-based community gathering—will be dedicated to honoring King on Friday, Jan. 20 at noon in the Sacred Space. After a brief moment of silence, students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to share a reading, intention, or an excerpt from one of King’s speeches.

Real talk

On Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m., the ongoing conversation series hosted by the Asian American Center, “Real Talk: Honest conversations about identity and life,” will focus on the dreams held by the university’s Asian American students and their hopes for the future of the country.

Photo via Flickr user Satomi Ichimura.

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