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Celebrating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 23–27, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr. Week

The campus community celebrates the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. each year.
Picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

2017 Keynote Speakers

Bakari Sellers

Bakari Sellers, is a politician, attorney, and political commentator who is considered to be a rising star in the democratic party.
Bakari Sellers is a politician, attorney, and political commentator who is considered to be a rising star in the Democratic party. He has followed in the footsteps of his father, civil rights leader Cleveland Sellers, in his tireless commitment to championing progressive policies.

Ashleandra Opoku ’17

Ashleandra Opoku ’17 is the general council member for the Black Student Union as well as a women’s studies multicultural and LGBTQ intern.
Ashleandra Opoku ’17 is the general council member for the Black Student Union as well as a women’s studies multicultural and LGBTQ intern. She is majoring in peace and conflict studies.


MLK Week Events


Speaker Biographies

Thomas Bennett ’72, P’06’09

A member of the Cabinet of Freedom, the governing board of the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, Thomas Bennett ’72, P’06’09 is a retired social studies teacher from Jamesville-DeWitt (N.Y.) High School. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Social Studies Educator Award from the CNY Council for the Social Studies and the Distinguished Educator Award from the NYS Council for the Social Studies. He was an educational adviser to former New York State Sen. Nancy Larraine Hoffman’s Civil Rights Connection program, in which high school juniors from central New York traveled to Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Georgia to study the historic Civil Rights Movement.

Charles (Pete) Banner-Haley

A professor of history and Africana and Latin American studies at Colgate, Charles (Pete) Banner-Haley serves as the coordinator for African American studies. He received his PhD from the University of Binghamton in 1980. His research focuses on African Americans in upstate New York and African American intellectualism in the 20th century.

Rev. Dr. Marvin A. Mcmickle

A distinguished church leader and theological educator, Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle is Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School’s (CRCDS) president. He is also professor of Church Leadership and director of the Program of Black Church Studies at the CRCDS. Among his many accomplishments, he was senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church of Cleveland, Ohio, where he established a ministry for people infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS — the first church-based program of its kind in the country.

Berlisha R. Morton

A visiting professor of educational studies at Colgate University, Berlisha R. Morton maintains an active research agenda on the intersections of narrative inquiry, historical methods, and womanist discourse analysis in educational research. She strives to communicate the intellectual contributions of women like her grandmother and great-aunt — lifelong domestic workers who had little formal education — to the U.S. educational enterprise.

Ashleandra Opoku ’17

The general council member for the Black Student Union (BSU), Ashleandra Opoku ’17 has served on the core of the organization for three years. She is also the women’s studies multicultural and LGBTQ intern.

Bakari Sellers

In 2006, Bakari Sellers made history when, at just 22 years old, he defeated a 26-year incumbent state representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African-American elected official in the nation. In 2014, he was the democratic nominee for lt. governor in South Carolina. Currently an attorney with the Strom Law Firm, LLC in Columbia, S.C., Sellers has followed in the footsteps of his father, civil rights leader Cleveland Sellers, in his tireless commitment to championing progressive policies. Considered to be a leading voice for his generation, Sellers is a political commentator at CNN and has also provided analysis on MSNBC.