I decided to take the course because it was recommended to me by a friend who raved about the deep level of discussion on topics such as race and current civil rights issues in America.

LISA WITMER '07 — MIT News, 12 Jan 2007

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. IAP Design Seminar (17.922)


2016

MLK-IAP-installation-2016

Students work on setting up their installations for the annual MLK exhibit. The exhibit is a part of an IAP course, Martin Luther King, Jr. Design Seminar (17.922). This year’s exhibits address topics such as police brutality and lack of diversity at the Academy Awards. Photo: Lenny Martinez, The Tech, 2 Feb 2016


http://mitstudents.tumblr.com/post/138554279543/in-lobby-10

2014

Students of the Martin Luther King Jr. Design Seminar, a program offered over IAP, display their art installations in Lobby 10. These projects address the principles of Dr. King and the students’ ideas on topics such as human rights, justice, racism, and equality. Sarah Liu, The Tech 2014

Students of the Martin Luther King Jr. Design Seminar, a program offered over IAP, display their art installations in Lobby 10. These projects address the principles of Dr. King and the students’ ideas on topics such as human rights, justice, racism, and equality. Sarah Liu, The Tech 2014

2013

2012

The final project of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Design Seminar (17.922) was on display in Lobby 10 on Friday. The exhibit highlights issues including racial discrimination and economic disparity. Photo: Christopher A. Maynor, The Tech 2012

The final project of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Design Seminar (17.922) was on display in Lobby 10 on Friday. The exhibit highlights issues including racial discrimination and economic disparity. Photo: Christopher A. Maynor, The Tech 2012

2011

A civil rights display is up in Lobby 10. The display is put up each year by students who took the Martin Luther King Jr. design seminar over IAP. Robert McQueen, The Tech, 2011

A civil rights display is up in Lobby 10. The display is put up each year by students who took the Martin Luther King Jr. design seminar over IAP. Robert McQueen, The Tech, 2011

Deploying Our Gifts

2010

Martin Luther King Jr. exhibit monitored for vandalism

Cameras were installed in Lobby 10 to watch the Martin Luther King, Jr. seminar exhibit, a frequent target of vandalism. It is unclear how long the cameras will remain or how long the recorded footage will be retained. Photo (top): Nicholas Chornay, The Tech 2010

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Haiti: How We Can Help

In response to the earthquake in Haiti in January of 2010, the IAP MLK Design Seminar created a Lobby 10 installation showing pictures of victims after the catastrophe, a model of the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince that had been destroyed in the earthquake, and informative pamphlets on the history and current crises in the country. Students also collected donations and planned a Haiti Relief Diversity Dinner in Walker Memorial to raise funds for the Partners in Health Relief Efforts. Photo (bottom): Vibin Kundukulam, The Tech 2010

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Where Dreams Come True by Jonathan Blackwood

2009

The “On the Shoulders of Giants” display was vandalized during the week of Feb. 2; a cardboard cutout of President Abraham Lincoln (pictured here) was replaced with a cutout of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin. Photo: Brian S. Coffey, The Tech 2009

The “On the Shoulders of Giants” display was vandalized during the week of Feb. 2; a cardboard cutout of President Abraham Lincoln (pictured here) was replaced with a cutout of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin. Photo: Brian S. Coffey, The Tech 2009

MLK Diversity Exhibit Vandalized Twice

Pres. Susan Hockfield and Prof. J. Phillip Thompson, Chair of the Committee on Race and Diversity, issued a statement in response to vandalism of the MLK exhibit. The displays were meant to promote diversity and human rights. The installation “On the Shoulders of Giants” with cardboard cutouts of Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, and Dr. King was altered. The cardboard cutout of Lincoln was removed and replaced with a cardboard cutout of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin. A display about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict was removed in its entirety.

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"Where do we go from here?" performed by 2009 IAP Design Seminar

Creativity, open minds

2007


2007 Projects

  1. Visiting Cambridge community centers and elementary schools to teach the children about Dr. King and the civil rights movement
  2. Conducting a voter registration drive in area homeless shelters and on the MIT campus
  3. Designing t-shirts and buttons for seminar participants to advertise the installation
  4. Setting up an ASA group for students who would like to volunteer their time at the CASPAR shelter
  5. Continuing their work this spring with the MIT@Lawrence Program on improving educational opportunities

Students honor Martin Luther King Jr. with creativity, open minds

MIT students discuss issues of race and tolerance while making plans for a creative installation in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. From left are sophomore Poting Cheung, juniors Jenny Man and Christopher Chapman and sophomore Ricky Burgess. Photo: Donna Coveney, MIT News 2007

MIT students discuss issues of race and tolerance while making plans for a creative installation in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. From left are sophomore Poting Cheung, juniors Jenny Man and Christopher Chapman and sophomore Ricky Burgess. Photo: Donna Coveney, MIT News 2007

This is the seventh year for the MLK Design Seminar, led by Tobie Weiner, undergraduate administrator in the Department of Political Science. Each year it becomes more popular. "People are telling people about it," Weiner said. Through discussion groups, readings and guest speakers, students delve into issues of race and equality they might not explore throughout the year. Together, they decide on a project that reflects the work they have done. Past projects have included work in the Cambridge Public Schools, educating the children about King and the civil rights movement, race and race relations. Students also organized a Boston Martin Luther King Dream Dinner as a fundraiser to contribute to the MLK memorial fund in Washington, D.C. Another group from a past course created a DVD with MIT faculty and administrators, as well as alumni, who spoke about "the changing face of MIT in terms of diversity," Weiner said.

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MLK Display Vandalized

Vandals defaced the Martin Luther King Jr. display in Lobby 10 last Saturday and Tuesday nights. James Pacella, a student who helped build the display, said, "The whole purpose of the installation this year was to answer the question, have we lived up to the dream? … The vandalism only shows that we still have a ways to go to live up to the dream."

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Bus Installation

2006

Students honor Martin Luther King Jr. with creativity, open minds

Lisa Witmer '07 helped to design a bus installation in Lobby 10. "We chose to make the focus of the installation a bus in order to commemorate Rosa Parks and her contributions to the beginnings of the civil rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama," Witmer said. "My group designed the exterior of the bus with recent newspaper articles about race-related crimes and injustices to serve as a reminder to people that the civil rights movement did not end decades ago, but rather is an issue that Americans are still dealing with today."

Senior Ryan Richardson '06 also contributed to the final installation last year in Lobby 10. For him, the course is an eye-opener. "All things considered, MLK offers students the opportunity to interact with other students across racial and cultural lines," he said. "It's real and unpretentious, and allows you to meet people from different living groups often defined by race and/or culture lines." Photo: Donna Coveney, MIT News 2006

Teaching Tolerance by Example

2004

Perspectives on Diversity

Joseph A. Brown ’07 and Louis D. Fouche ’07 discuss issues of race and diversity with a group of seventh grade students at Fletchard Maynard Academy in Cambridge. Photo: Eun J. Lee, The Tech 2004

Joseph A. Brown ’07 and Louis D. Fouche ’07 discuss issues of race and diversity with a group of seventh grade students at Fletchard Maynard Academy in Cambridge. Photo: Eun J. Lee, The Tech 2004

A black male walks up to a restaurant counter and asks for a cup of coffee. The white waitress behind the counter snubs him and attends to the white female who comes in after him.

The waitress and customer are just 7th graders, and the counter is just a desk in Gretchen Brion Meisels’ language arts class at Fletchard Maynard Academy, only a stone’s throw away from MIT’s campus. On this day, her students are participating in discussions of race and diversity with MIT students as part of a class project in the Martin Luther King Jr. Design seminar (17.920).

“It’s always important to make time for conversations about race and diversity,” BrionMeisels says. “It’s easy for teachers to lose track of this dialogue.”

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SOUND PORTRAITS by AJL

Submission to the 2nd Annual MIT Martin Luther King Inspired Art and Performance Contest (2014)

Background

The MLK Design Seminar began in January 1999. Since then, MIT and Wellesley students have worked together to create artistic and political installations that have been placed in MIT's Lobby 7 and Lobby 10 to coincide with the university's celebration of Dr. King.

Past years' projects have included work with children and adults in the Cambridge Community Centers, original songs and performances, benefits for charities, various features in The Tech (MIT's oldest and largest newspaper) and other publications, and special projects.

Description

In the first half of the class, MIT and Wellesley students develop an in-depth understanding of the history of US racial issues, as well as past and present domestic and international political struggles. The issues of justice, equality and racism are addressed through videos, readings and writings, and class discussions.

In the second half, students work as a group to complete the installation and other projects which will serve as models for connecting academics with real life problems and struggle.

Overview

In designing the installation or project, participants in the seminar may address aspects of the theme of the honored speaker and the celebration in addition to their thoughts on civil and human rights, justice, equality, race, racism and the principles of Dr. King.

The installation and projects will serve as a model for connecting academics and education with real life problems and struggle. It is hoped that the seminar and the projects will encourage interaction and foster communication among members of the MIT community with diverse backgrounds.

Instructor

tobie-weiner-picTOBIE WEINER

MIT
Undergraduate Administrator,
DC Program Coordinator

Tobie was awarded a 1998 MIT MLK Leadership Award for living, sharing, and regenerating Dr. King's optimistic belief in the cause of a just society.

Contact her at iguanatw@mit.edu

 

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