23rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Learning January 20

Posted by Nichole Johnson |

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Capital University will uphold its tradition of promoting meaningful dialogue and celebrating diverse perspectives by hosting its 23rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Learning Monday, January 20.

The theme for this year's event is Building Bridges Through Peaceful Action. The Gay S. Steele keynote speaker for this year’s daylong celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy will be Professor Sharon Davies, director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. Davies is the current holder of the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She also holds a three-year presidential appointment to the Ohio Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Professor Davies’s primary research focus is in the area of civil rights, race and criminal justice. Her articles and other writings have been published in some of the nation’s leading law journals, and in 2010, Oxford University Press published Davies’s narrative nonfiction account of a 1921 murder trial in Birmingham, Alabama, titled Rising Road, A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America, for which the mayor of Birmingham awarded her the “Key to the City.”

Day of Learning festivities will begin with an 8 am community gathering in Harry C. Moores Student Union, followed by a 9 am convocation in Mees Hall. Davies will speak during convocation.

Select the image above to view the full program, including a schedule of events, times and locations (PDF 477 KB). 

Although the day’s events are coordinated by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the event belongs to the entire campus. Students, staff and faculty are instrumental to the success of the day’s events. On this day, we open our campus to the wider community of Central Ohio.

Citizens are challenged by the keynote speaker, engaged in important dialogue with students, staff and faculty during the workshops, and enriched by the distinct culture of Capital University.

By design, workshops often deal with issues and concerns that are complex, relevant and important to an array of individuals. Likewise, they can evoke emotion and spirited debate, but they always offer diverse perspectives. Among this year’s workshops, participants will find:

  • The Bridge from 1964 to 2014: Peaceful Strategies for Combating 21st Century Racism, Sexism and Bigotry in American Culture; 
  • Domestic Violence: What You Should Know; 
  • Cuban Drum and Dance Workshop: Rumba and Salsa with Tito Rumba; 
  • The Art and Science of Building Bridges Through Peaceful Action in Columbus, Ohio; 
  • The Evolution of Voting Rights from the 1960s to Today; 
  • The Role and Responsibility of the Next Generation to Advance Dr. King’s Dream of Social and Economic Equality; and 
  • How Should We Ration Health Care? 

Afternoon offerings include: 

  • Selected works from The Schumacher Gallery collections, from 1 to 5 pm;   
  • A multimedia collection featuring works by and about Dr. King in the Blackmore Library; and 
  • Film presentations and subsequent discussions of First Generation, a documentary film that tells the story of four high school students who set out to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to their families and communities by pursuing a college education, and The Butler, written by Danny Strong, directed by Lee Daniels and starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, from 1 to 4 pm. First Generation will be shown in the Bridge of Learning, and The Butler will be shown in Mees Hall. 

The Capital University Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Learning is part of United We Serve, President Barack Obama's national call to service initiative that asks Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.

During the MLK Day of Learning, Capital invites members of the Greater Columbus community to join us as we leverage the power of service to make a difference in the lives of community members who struggle with hunger. Together we can reduce the level of hunger in Central Ohio. Please bring non-perishable food items with you to the event and drop them off in the food drive boxes located around campus. Proceeds will be donated to the First Lutheran Church Food Pantry.

As always, the traditional Hank Marr Jazz Luncheon, which this year will feature Bobby Floyd, Reggie Jackson, Rob Parton, and Gene Walker, will take place in the Capital Court, located on the second floor of the Campus Center. The cost for the lunch is $14 for those not on a Capital meal plan, and $8 for children 12 and under. Lunch tickets will be on sale in Mees Hall from 8 to 9 am and in the Lobby of the Student Union from 10:30 am to 1 pm. All other events are free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to consider donating one canned food item to help combat hunger in Central Ohio.

By commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. King through service and learning, the Capital community is strengthened and its respect for human dignity is reinforced. As in past years, normal class meeting times on the Bexley campus will be suspended between 8 am and 4 pm to encourage the entire campus community to participate in the Day of Learning.


Located in the Columbus, Ohio, community of Bexley, Capital University is a private, four-year undergraduate institution and graduate school. Capital prepares students for meaningful lives and purposeful careers through a relevant liberal arts core curriculum and deep professional programs. Influenced by its Lutheran heritage, Capital places great emphasis on the free and open exchange of ideas, seeking out diverse perspectives, active participation in society, leadership and service. With a focus on rigor and experiential learning, the University capitalizes on its size, location, and heritage to develop the whole person, both inside and outside the classroom.


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