Either the nation will recognize and support affirmative action for disenfranchised groups, including those who have suffered most egregious harm at the hands of society and continue to do so, or it will recognize and support no affirmative action — no set-asides, no goals to include any group.
LEZLI BASKERVILLE - Civil Rights Attorney and Political Activist
1998 24th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
The phrase "the same old bone" was used by Dr. King to describe the tactics of the Kennedy administration regarding racial matters in his book Why We Can't Wait (Harper and Row, 1963). Dr. King wrote: "The Negro felt that the same old bone had been tossed to him in the past -- only now it was being passed to him on a platter, with courtesy."
'The Same Old Bone': The Campaign Against Affirmative Action
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
9th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Conference
Youth: The Future, Technology and Entrepreneurship
Semenya McCord Group
"Journey Into a Dream"
Civil rights attorney and political activist Lezli Baskerville is a graduate of Rutgers University and Howard University Law School. She is general counsel to the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), an umbrella organization of the 117 predominantly black colleges and universities, both private and land grant. She was senior assistant to retired US Rep. William Gray of Pennsylvania on the the Budget Committee, and she was equal opportunity/civil rights counsel to retired US Rep. Walter Fauntroy of the District of Columbia. She was also the founding director of the National Black Leadership Roundtable, sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.
In 1989, she formed the Baskerville Group, a Washington-based legal and legislative services group whose clients include elected officials, institutions of higher learning, municipalities and nonprofit organizations.
Ms. Baskerville worked on Rev. Jesse Jackson's presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988 and was Louisiana's deputy coordinator for the1996 Clinton-Gore campaign. She is a founding board member of the National Rainbow Coalition.
MLK Leadership Award recipient Lynda M. Jordan PhD '85 is the third of less than ten women of African descent to date who hold a PhD in Biological Chemistry from MIT—also “one of the few Boston urban minority high school students to obtain a doctorate degree” from the Institute. At the time Dr. Jordan attended MIT, 80% of the students were men, only 3% were African-American, and only two
African-American women had received PhDs from her department.
The story of her extraordinary journey is featured in the award-winning 1995 NOVA/WGBH documentary series Discovering Women. Narrated by actress Michelle Pfeiffer and directed by Yvonne Smith, “Jewels in a Test Tube” captures Dr. Jordan’s journey from a childhood in Roxbury (where she was “on the cusp of becoming a delinquent child”) to a career in science. At the documentary’s premiere, First Lady Hillary Clinton honored Dr. Jordan for her contributions to science and science education.
Dr. Jordan returned to MIT in 1997 as an MLK Visiting Professor in the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Jordan returned to MIT in 1997 as an MLK Visiting Professor in the Department of Chemistry. It was during her sabbatical visit to the Institute that Dr. Jordan says she was “called to ministry,” and she would later earn both a Master of Divinity (MDiv) and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Harvard University. READ MORE
"I am deeply humbled to receive a leadership award in the name of such a great man as Martin Luther King Jr.," said Dr. Jordan, an associate professor at North Carolina A&T State University, her alma mater. "With the grace and the strength of God, I hope that I will be able to inspire at least one young person to transcend the obstacles and pursue dreams at the highest level."
In nominating Professor Jordan for a leadership award, Senior Assistant Dean Isaac Colbert wrote: "Lynda uses her experiences at every opportunity to teach younger minority and female students about the incomparable values of perseverance and hard work, about self-confidence and professionalism, and about cultivating challengers, supporters and listeners along one's journey through life. She has encouraged young scholars to think about their psychological, social and academic survival and has given practical advice in each arena."
Eto Otitigbe ’99, winner of the 1996 List Foundation Fellowship in the Arts, at the opening of his exhibition “The Suntoucher Tragedy: Woodcuts and Lithographs” at the Wiesner Student Art Gallery (October 1997) photograph by Gabor Csányi
MLK Leadership Awardee Eto Otitigbe '99 won the prestigious List Foundation Fellowship for the Arts and used it to pursue his studies at Wellesley College and the Printmaking Workshop in New York. An exhibition of his work was presented at the Weisner Student Art Gallery. He has organized an annual poetry slam for students from colleges in the area and a series of field trips to films and other cultural events.
"One of the greatest pleasures of my work at MIT is the opportunity to mentor students," wrote Maureen Costello, director of special programs. "Eto has far and away proved to be an exceptional student. There are days when I felt I have learned more from him."
Mr. Otitigbe of Albany, NY, the senior co-chair of Chocolate City, was a student speaker at last year's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast. The theme was "The Strength to Love" (the title of a collection of Dr. King's sermons). Mr. Otitigbe asked the audience: "If love were against the law, would you be guilty?" [MIT News Office, 28 Jan 1998]
Tobie Weiner at a panel on California's Proposition 187, which would restrict the rights of illegal immigrants. Credit: Helen Lin, The Tech, 14 Feb 1995
Tobie Weiner directs a course on "Community Service -- Experience and Reflection" and has placed numerous MIT students with community organizations. She has coordinated a freshman seminar entitled "The Civil Rights Movement and Beyond: What Can We Learn from the '50s and '60s to Fight Racism Today?" She also conducts seminars on "Conversations You Can't Have on Campus: Serious (But Fun) Discussions About Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexual Identity," which may be offered by living groups on and off-campus during the spring semester.
"It has been a great experience for me and has brought together a number of diverse students for open discussion on these difficult issues," she said.
Ms. Weiner helped organize an open forum on the responsibility intellectuals have to inner-city residents, a screening of a documentary film on Malcolm X entitled "Make It Plain," an open discussion of the O.J. Simpson verdict on the day it was announced, an annual IAP course dedicated to social justice themes and a yearly student forum on interracial dating.
In his letter nominating her, Assistant Professor Daniel Kryder of political science wrote: "Tobie Weiner lives and shares and regenerates [Dr. King's] optimistic belief in the cause of a just society."
Tobie Weiner began teaching the popular MLK Design Seminar (17.922) 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. VISIT: Course website
Tobie Weiner discussions faculty committment to students
Youth: The Future, Technology and Entrepreneurship
Mel King, South Boston, 1983. Photo: John Goodman
On Saturday, Feb. 14, the King celebration continued with the ninth annual weekend youth council for high school students from Boston and Cambridge.
The theme of the day-long event was "Youth: The Future, Technology and Entrepreneurship."
Melvin King, senior lecturer emeritus in urban studies and planning and a founder of the MIT Community Fellows program, was the guest speaker.