It is so important for companies and institutions of higher education to make an earnest commitment to go beyond the letter of the law and to make diversity not just a buzzword for their public relations programs, but a real policy that will be reflected at every level of corporate decision-making.

CORETTA SCOTT KING - Keynote Address at MIT, 1994

A Legacy of Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at MIT


MLK Leadership Awards

The MLK Jr. Leadership Awards are given annually to students, alumni, staff, groups and faculty who embody the spirit of Dr. King’s work.

Over 40 Years of Commemoration

MIT began its annual commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1975 and paved the way for the MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars Program.

MLK Celebration Keynotes

The annual MLK commemorations feature a breakfast/luncheon and MLK-inspired lectures on campus by prominent speakers from across disciplines.

IAP MLK Design Seminar

A course that facilitates the design/construction of installations and other community projects in conjunction with and beyond MIT's MLK celebrations.

Interphase History

Dr. King’s and President Kennedy’s assassinations in 1968 sparked new initiatives towards making MIT a more equitable community. [VIDEO]

Reflections of the Dream, 1975-1994

Publication by Clarence G. Williams (MIT Press, 1996): Speeches given at the Institute’s annual King Day convocation by prominent speakers.

Over 40 Years of Commemorations

MIT began its annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1975 with memorial activities featured a breakfast or dinner and lectures by prominent speakers. Martin Luther King Day was designated an Institute holiday in 1976, a decade before its first official observance as a federal holiday. These public events paved the way for the MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars Program.


 

Sort By: Direction:

Awards

Since 1995, MIT has awarded annual Leadership Awards (see list below or view as document) to students, alumni, staff, groups and faculty who embody the spirit of Dr. King’s work. “Service to the community” is defined in the broadest sense and includes academic, research, religious, and secular contributions in which integrity, leadership, creativity, and positive outcome are apparent.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is a special honor given only during decennial celebrations to acknowledge a community member who has given dedicated service to the MIT Community.

Wes Harris   

Wesley L. Harris is the recipient of the 40th MLK Celebration Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedicated service to the MIT Community.  The Institute also honored Dr. Harris with a MLK Leadership Award in 2001; a year later, the Minority Introduction to Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Science program established the Wesley L. Harris Scholarship Fund for MITE2S in his name. He has been an MIT professor at many different points in his career, first serving from 1972-79, returning as a 1995-96 MLK Visiting Professor, then remaining at MIT from 1996 until the present. From 1975 to 1978, he served as the very first Director of MIT's Office of Minority Education (OME). His other administrative posts include Head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Housemaster for New House Residence Hall, and most recently Associate Provost for Faculty Equity. Dr. Harris is honored for his ongoing commitment to ensuring that all students achieve academically at MIT and for his work on increasing diversity efforts for faculty.

Keynotes

The yearly MIT celebrations date back to 1975 and feature Dr. King-inspired lectures on campus by prominent speakers from across the disciplines. Other speakers include undergraduate and graduate students. The ceremony also honors MLK Award recipients and Visiting Scholars for the respective years.

“Lift your voice!”
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”


KEYNOTE

Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson '86
Capture Manager,
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Kristala L. Jones Prather '94
MIT Professor
MacVicar Faculty Fellow
MIT Graduate Admissions Chair

Reginald (Reggie) Van Lee ’79, SM ’80
Philanthropist, Arts Advocate
Retired Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton

Catherine Gamon
Director of Student Life, MIT Sloan Student Life for Master's Program

Maryanne Kirkbride
Clinical Director for Campus Life,
MIT Medical

Michael J. Beautyman 'G
Mechanical Engineering
Director, MIT-EMS Ambulance Operations

Tremaan A. Robbins '17
Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering
Defensive Back, MIT Football

Muslim Student Association

Truth & Power: Students Leading for Change


freeman-hrabowski

KEYNOTE

Freeman A. Hrabowski III
University of Maryland, Baltimore County President


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Ethan Zuckerman
Director, MIT Center for Civic Media
Cofounder, Global Voices

Barbara A. Johnson
IT Service Provider & Consumer Support Engineer, MIT Information Systems & Technology

Rasheed K. Auguste '17
Nuclear Science & Engineering
Political Action Co-chair, Black Student Union

George Chao 'G
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology

La-Tarri M. Canty
Director of Multicultural Programs/Assistant Director of Student Activities, MIT Student Activities Office

Fossil Free MIT

MIT Black Graduate Student Union

iActivism: Individuals Empowering the Collective


president-reif

KEYNOTE

L. Rafael Reif
President, MIT (2012-present)


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Michel DeGraff
Professor of Linguistics, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy

Abigail M. Francis
Director of LBGT Services, Student Development and Support

Judith Stein
Organization Development Consultant/HR ERG Coordinator, MIT Human Resources Department

Kelvin Frazier PhD '15
Physical Chemistry

Alyssa Napier '16
Chemistry

Adriane Brown SM '91
President and Chief Operating Officer, Intellectual Ventures

Should human rights be determined at the ballot box?


michael-eric-dyson

KEYNOTE

Michael Eric Dyson
Cultural Critic and Scholar


MLK LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDEE

Wesley L. Harris
Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
1995-96 MLK Visiting Professor
2001 MLK Leadership Award

MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Sally Haslanger
Ford Professor of Philosophy, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy

Michael K. Owu '86
Director of Real Estate, MIT Investment Management Company

Atif M. Javed '15
Materials Science and Engineering

The Hispanic/Latino Network
Lincoln Laboratories

Illuminating the Elements of Meritocracy


paula-madison-2013

KEYNOTE

Paula Williams Madison
Chairman/CEO, WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Colin “Topper” Carew
Filmmaker/Artist
Visiting Scholar/Researcher, MIT Media Lab

Priscilla King Gray
Co-founder, MIT Public Service Center
Honorary Chair (2004-2012), MIT Women's League
MIT First Lady 1980–1990

Jocelyn O. Joseph, M.D.
Chief of Pediatrics, MIT Medical

Bomy Lee Chung 'G
Chemical Engineering, MIT Langer Lab

Uddhav Sharma '15
Mathematics

WMBR 88.1 FM
MIT Student Radio Station

Expanding the Possible


richard-tapia_2012

KEYNOTE

Richard A. Tapia
Professor of Mathematics, Rice University
National Medal of Science​


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Edmund Bertschinger
Professor and Head, Physics Department

Arnold R. Henderson, Jr.
Associate Dean and Co-Director, Student Support Services

Alyce Johnson
Manager of Staff Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources

Julia Jaskólska '13
Materials Science and Engineering

Cato T. Laurencin, MD PhD '87
Orthopedic Surgeon
Chemical Engineering & Dean of School of Medicine, University of Connecticut

MIT-Wellesley Upward Bound Program

Excellence is a Shared Path: Working Together for Justice and the Quality of Life


roland-martin_2011

KEYNOTE

Roland Martin
CNN Analyst


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Cheryl Charles
Fiscal Officer, Research Laboratory of Electronics

Weslee S. Glenn PhD '13
Chemistry

Debroah Hodges-Pabón
Personnel and Operations Administrator, Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL)

MITES Program

Deploying Our Gifts for the Betterment of Humankind: What would Dr. King say about us?


gerry hudson

KEYNOTE

Gerald Hudson
Board Chairman, Emerald Cities Collaborative
International Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Melvin H. King
Senior Lecturer, Emeritus, Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP)

Michael G. Johnson MCP ’97
Senior VP in Real Estate, Brick City Development Corp.

Aisha N. Walcott PhD '11
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Benjamin Mensah '11
MIT Sloan School of Management


IN MEMORIAM

Leo Osgood, Jr. (1946-2009)
2009 MLK Leadership Award

Yes We Must: Achieve Diversity Through Leadership


johnetta-cole_2010

KEYNOTE

Johnnetta B. Cole
Educator and Humanitarian


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Barry Reckley
Assistant Director in Minority Recruitment and Retention, MIT Sloan School of Management

Deborah Liverman
Assistant Director, Global Education and Career Development Center

Christine Ortiz
Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

John Essigmann '72, PhD '76
Professor of Chemistry, Toxicology, and Biological Engineering
Associate Head, MIT Department of Chemistry
Housemaster, Simmons Hall

Jason C. Forte '09
Management, MIT Sloan

Aisha A. Bobb-Semple '09
Biological Engineering

Ensuring Educational Access: Our Challenge, Our Opportunity


ray-hammond_2008

KEYNOTE

Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond '75
Physician
Founding Pastor, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Michael S. Feld '63, SM '63, PhD '67
Professor of Physics
Director, George R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory
Former Chair, MIT Equal Opportunity Committee

Leo Osgood, Jr.
Former MIT Head Basketball Coach
Former Director, Office of Minority Education (OME)
Former Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education

Lorlene Hoyt
Assistant Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP)
Director, MIT@Lawrence Program

Zina Queen
Administrative Assistant, George R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory

Ali S. Wyne '08
Management


EXHIBITS

IAP MLK Design Seminar

Tali Hatuka
Marie Curie Research Fellow and Fulbright Fellow, MIT DUSP
“Urban Design and Civil Protest”
MIT Museum Compton Gallery

Maximizing Potential: The Congruence of Diversity and Excellence


ted-childs_2007

KEYNOTE

Ted Childs, Jr.
Former Vice President, IBM


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Isaac M. Colbert
MIT Dean for Graduate Students

S. Michelle Harton MSEE '83
Founder, MathCon
Senior Staff Engineer, Motorola Inc.

Austin V. Harton '78, SM '79, PhD '88
Founder, MathCon
Physics Professor, Chicago State University

La Tonya Green MCP '00, PhD '12
Department of Urban Studies (DUSP)

Nathaniel Gerald

Dr. King's Unfinished Agenda: A Call for Economic & Social Justice in the 21st Century


donna-brazille

KEYNOTE

Donna Brazile
Political Consultant and Chair, Voting Rights Institute


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Charles M. Vest
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
MIT President Emeritus (1990-2004)

Acia Adams-Heath
Fiscal Officer, MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories

Oluwamuyiwa Olubuyide '96, PhD '06
Electrical Engineering


EXHIBIT

IAP MLK Design Seminar
Bus Installation


IN MEMORIAM

Coretta Scott King (1927-2006)
Activist and Civil Rights Leader
1994 MIT MLK Celebration Keynote

Justice and Equality for All: America's Moral Dilemma


Gwen-Ifill_2005

KEYNOTE

Gwen Ifill
Political Reporter
Moderator/Managing Editor, Washington Week


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

James L. Sherley
Associate Professor, Biological Engineering

James S. Banks '76
Recruitment for Hewlett-Packard and Agilent
Member, Industrial Advisory Council for Minority Education

Russell E. (Erich) Caulfield SM ’01, PhD ’06
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Rhetoric or Reality: Civil Right Under Seige


julianne-malveaux

KEYNOTE

Julianne M. Malveaux PhD '80
Economist, Author and Syndicated Columnist


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

J. Phillip Thompson
Associate Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP)
2000-02 MLK Visiting Professor, DUSP

Blanche E. Staton
MIT Associate Dean for Graduate Students

LaRuth C. McAfee PhD '05
Chemical Engineering

Salvatore J. Molica '75
Medical Director, Codman Square Health Center

Faces at the Bottom of the Well: Nightmare of Reality vs. Dr. King's Dream


julian-bond_2003

KEYNOTE

Julian Bond
Civil Rights Activist
Chairman of the Board, NAACP
Distinguished Professor, American University
Professor of History, The University of Virginia


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Jonathan A. King
Professor, Molecular Biology

Hector H. Hernández PhD '08
Chemistry/Structural Biology

Chiquita V. White '85
Process Engineer, Proctor and Gamble Co.

From Dreams to Reality: The Illusion of Full Inclusion


tavis-smiley_2002

KEYNOTE

Tavis Smiley
Political Commentator and Talk-Show Host


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Paul E. Gray '54, SM '55, ScD '60
President of MIT, 1980-90

Cheryl Vossmer
MIT Campus Police Sergeant

Randal D. Pinkett SM '98, MBA '98, PhD'02
CEO, Building Community with Technology

Tamara S. Williams SM '00, PhD '06
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Confronting the Gap: Building and Sustaining Inclusion


Guinier-Lani Lani Guinier
Civil Rights Attorney
Professor, Harvard Law School


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Wesley L. Harris
Goldwater Professor of American Institutions, Arizona State University
1995-96 MLK Visiting Professor, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Harvey B. Gantt MCP '70
Partner, Gantt Huberman Architects
1999-2000 MLK Visiting Professor, MIT Department of Architecture

Desiree Ramirez '02
Chemical Engineering

Engineering Bold Leadership for the 21st Century: A Blueprint for Full Participation in Academia, Government and Industry


jackson_shirley1999

KEYNOTE

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson '68, PhD '73
President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Rafael Bras '72, SM '74, PhD '75
Head, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Bacardi-Stockholm Water Foundations Professor

Woodrow Whitlow Jr. '74, SM '75, PhD '79
Director, Aeronautics Directorate at the NASA Glenn Research Center

Ticora V. Jones '00
Materials Science and Engineering

Teaching and Learning: The Key to Full Inclusion


AP Photo/Roberto Borea

KEYNOTE

Kweisi Mfume
President and CEO, NAACP
Former United States Representative


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Alexander Slocum '82, SM '83, PhD '85
Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Richard Williamson '85
Math Teacher, Boston Public Schools

Adriana L. Holguin '99
Mechanical Engineering

'The Same Old Bone': The Campaign Against Affirmative Action


l-baskerville

KEYNOTE

Lezli Baskerville
General Counsel to the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Lynda M. Jordan PhD '85
MIT MLK Visiting Professor
Associate Professor of Chemistry, North Carolina A&T State University

Eto Otitigbe '99
Senior Co-chair, Chocolate City
MIT List Foundation Fellow

Tobie F. Weiner
Undergraduate Administrator
Department of Political Science
Instructor, IAP Design Seminar

The Strength to Love: Facing the Crisis of the Underclass


Elaine Jones

KEYNOTE

Elaine R. Jones
Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund ​


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Sylvester James Gates, Jr. '73, PhD '77
Professor of Physics, University of Maryland

Myra Rodrigues
Retired Social Worker, MIT Medical Department

MIT Committee on Campus Race Relations

With Liberty and Justice for All


Julius L. Chambers in 1984. Credit: Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times

KEYNOTE

Julius L. Chambers ​
Chancellor, North Carolina Central University
Former Director, NAACP Legal Defense and Eductional Fund


MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Matthew J. Turner '96
Architecture and Mechanical Engineering

Leon Trilling
Professor Emeritus, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Shirley A. Jackson '68, PhD '73
Physicist
Chairperson, Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Trumpet of Conscience: Dr. Martin Luther King's Contract with America


leon_higginbothamjr

KEYNOTE

A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. ​

A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. ​
Civil Rights Advocate
U.S. Federal Appeals Court Judge for the Third Circuit
Public Service Professor of Jurisprudence, Harvard University
Keynote: "Martin Luther King's Open Letter to Newt Gingrich"


INAUGURAL MLK LEADERSHIP AWARDEES

Robert W. Mann
Professor Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering

Cynthia R. McIntyre PhD '90
Theoretical Physicist

American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)

Collected Speeches

reflectionsReflections of the Dream, 1975-1994: Twenty-One Years Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Jr. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Edited by Clarence G. Williams
MIT Press, 1996

Bringing together speeches given at the Institute's annual King Day convocation, this book celebrates two decades of commitment by MIT to honoring the honoring the memory and furthering the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. In reading these speeches, one catches in reflection twenty years of turmoil and change, some positive (including an increasing number of speakers drawn from the ranks of MIT's African American alumni/ae) but much negative, in which Dr King's dream has been a continuing beacon for action. Speakers have included leaders who are prominent both nationally and in the local (Boston/Cambridge) community, in accordance with Dr. King’s dual emphasis on global and local issues. The book closes with Coretta Scott King’s twentieth-anniversary address in 1994.


 

CONTENTS [view PDF]

1994
The Movement for Economic and Social Justice: 1994 and Beyond
Coretta Scott King
[video]

1993
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
William H. Gray III

1992
The Dream and Reality: Closing the Gap
Margaret A. Burnham

1991
Linking the Civil Rights Movement to MIT and Dr. King's Dream: Reality-- Closing the Gap
Benjamin L. Hooks
[video]

1990
The Dream and Hope, the Nightmare of Reality: Closing the Gap for Our Youth
Nikki Giovanni

1989
On Behalf of Justice
Gregory C. Chisholm, S.J.

1988
From Dreams to Reality
Elizabeth B. Rawlins

1987
Introspection, Outreach and Inclusion: Achieving Pluralism at MIT
Samuel D. Proctor

1986
Living the Dream: To Believe and Achieve
Shirley Ann Jackson

1985
The Unfinished Agenda of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Context of the Eighties
John H. Adams
Julius L. Chambers
Leo Marx
Michael R. Winston

1984
The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Path to Human Dignity and Freedom
John R. Bryant
Helen G. Edmonds ​

1983
Rekindling the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. in a Time of Retrenchment
Price M. Cobb
A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.

1982
The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the New Movement for Justice
Charles S. Brown

1981
King: What Progress Since the Dream?
LeRoy Attles
Samuel D. Proctor

1980
Do You Remember?
Anthony C. Campbell

1979
The Dream: When Will We Overcome?
Melvin G. Brown

1978
Keeping the Dream Alive
Jerome H. Holland

1977
The Dream: Education is Freedom
Muriel S. Snowden

1976
Reflection of the Dream : Past, Present and Future
Walter J. Leonard

1975
Martin Luther King, Jr., what Does He Mean to Me?
Hubert. E Jones

TOP