We are coming to understand our common stake in the global environment and the global economy, yet there is a terrifying resurgence of nationalist and ethnic conflict in many countries. We all have a common stake in the solution to such problems.

CHARLES M. VEST - MIT President 1990-2004

1996   22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration


we-the-people-flag-colorPledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


With Liberty and Justice for All


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


Matthew J. Turner '96
Architecture and Mechanical Engineering

Leon Trilling
Professor Emeritus, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

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


7th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Conference:
Realizing the Dream on Youth Entrepreneurship


Semenya McCord and Associates
Jazz Vocals
"Journey Into a Dream"

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

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

MIT News Office [excerpt]
Robert C. Di Iorio
November 29, 1995

Julius L. Chambers is a relentless litigator of civil rights cases for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund for nearly two decades and chancellor of North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

Dr. Chambers, who has been the chief administrator at NCCU, his alma mater, since January 1993, gained a national reputation in the areas of school desegregation, voting rights and fair employment during his years with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Among his first Supreme Court cases was Swann vs. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Argued in 1971, it put the Supreme Court's stamp of approval on busing as a means of achieving desegregation.

Dr. Chambers was director-counsel of the Legal Defense and Educational Fund from July 1984 until his appointment at NCCU. He was president of the fund for nearly a decade before he became its senior executive.

He received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in history from what was then North Carolina College at Durham in 1958. He received his master's degree in history from the University of Michigan in 1959, and then entered the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill where he received the juris doctor degree in 1962. He served as editor-in-chief of the North Carolina Law Review and graduated first in his law school class. The following year he received the LLM degree from Columbia University School of Law.

Dr. Chambers became the first legal intern for the Legal Defense and Educational Fund, helping to litigate civil rights cases in several southern states. In 1964 he established a private practice in Charlotte, NC, where he opened the state's first interracial law firm.

During his career he has taught civil rights and constitutional law courses at the University of Virginia, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and the University of Michigan.

In 1971 he was appointed to the then newly created University of North Carolina Board of Governors and served until 1977. He has been a member of the New Jersey State Board of Higher Education, the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, the Board of Directors of the Children's Defense Fund and of the Legal Aid Society of New York, and the Board of Editors of the American Bar Association Journal.


MORE: "Julius Chambers, a Fighter for Civil Rights, Dies at 76" (The New York Times, 07 Aug 2013)

BOOK: Julius Chambers: A Life in the Legal Struggle for Civil Rights (The University of North Carolina Press, 2016) by Richard A. Rosen and Joseph Mosnier



mat-turner-mlk-awardMatthew J. Turner '96 was selected for this award because of his sustained efforts in making MIT a better place for students, and in promoting better relations between students from different groups and diverse backgrounds. He is an eloquent and effective leader. who cares about his community. He has vision and he knows how to bring others together to achieve a common vision. Matt, your fostering of better communication between the Interfraternity Council and the historically black fraternities, your work with the Faculty Policy Committee, your service as president of your fraternity and president of the senior class, your dedication as an associate [student] advisor and your work as a volunteer in the wider Cambridge community all carry the mark of a true leader. By your vision and leadership, you have brought people together and enhanced the quality of life at MIT. In so doing, you represent the very best of what Martin Luther King expected of himself and others." [MIT News28 Feb 1996]



leon-trilling-mlk-award_1996Professor Leon Trilling was chosen to receive this award because of his deep and enduring commitment to improving the quality of education for people of color. His long-standing and steady efforts have ranged from pioneering work with Boston's METCO program more than 30 years ago to his ongoing work at MIT to articulate and nurture the benefits of diversity in our learning environment. For three decades he has worked to create more effective ways to introduce young minority scholars to advanced science and engineering and to recruit and serve as mentor to minority faculty members. His leadership in such activities as the Office of Minority Education, the MIT Second Summer Program and the Course XVI Outreach Committee all testify to his commitment and ability to help make MIT a more enriching and better place for all of its members. Leon, as an engineer, educator, role model and mentor, you have incorporated the notions of inclusion and diversity not simply as theoretical constructs, but as day-to-day practices in your life. In so doing, you represent the essence of Martin Luther King's philosophy and vision." [MIT News28 Feb 1996]



SHIRLEY-JACKSON-mlk-award_1996Dr. Shirley Jackson received her bachelor's degree in physics from MIT in 1968, and in 1973 she became the first African-American woman to receive the PhD from MIT. Her career as a physicist has been conducted in both industrial and academic settings. For 15 years, she was a research physicist at AT&T Bell Labs and later became a professor of physics at Rutgers University. In addition, she has served in numerous advisory capacities for the profession and for the federal government. She is also a life member of the MIT Corporation and has served as a member of its Executive Committee. During the past year, she has taken leave from these responsibilities in order to serve as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the agency responsible for the civilian use and disposal of nuclear materials in the United States. Throughout her career, Dr. Jackson has demonstrated a distinguished and unwavering commitment to physics and higher education, and she has served as a leader, role model and mentor to so many people at MIT and throughout the scientific community. Shirley, your dedication to excellence in all that you do is a fitting tribute to Dr. King's legacy." [MIT News28 Feb 1996]


7th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Conference: Realizing the Dream on Youth Entrepreneurship

DUSP sponsors MLK youth conference

The seventh annual Martin Luther King Jr. youth conference, presented by the Community Fellows Program of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, will be held on February 16 and 17, coinciding with MIT's 22nd
annual celebration of the life and legacy of the slain civil rights leader.

The event has been coordinated by Adjunct Professor Melvin H. King, director of the Community Fellows Program. Its theme is Realizing the Dream on Youth Entrepreneurship.

The program will include mini-sessions on principles of entrepreneurship, completing a business plan, and using various software programs and the World Wide Web.

The Community Fellows Program promotes the belief that people of color in America cannot achieve maximum economic and political development without sharing and pooling their talents, skills and resources. Youth development, health and training are areas of concentrated study.

MIT News, 14 Feb 1996

22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration (1996)

The 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration on the theme "With Liberty and Justice for All," held February 16, 1996, features Dr. Julius L. Chambers as keynote speaker. Student speakers include Kareem Howard '99, Simonetta Rodriguez 'G, and master of ceremonies Yvette Johnson '96. Martin Luther King, Jr., Leadership Award recipients are MIT senior Matt Turner '96, Prof. Leon Trilling, and Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson '68, Ph.D. '73.