2007 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Maximizing Potential: The Congruence of Diversity and Excellence
Former IBM Vice President
MLK Leadership Awardees
MIT Pres. Susan Hockfield's Speech
This past January 15, on the national day of celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King, part of my own, personal reflection for the day was to reread the words of Dr. King in his now iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. The speech never fails to move me, as it did when I first heard it, and as it has moved and inspired millions of others in the nearly 45 years since it was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Every time I read that speech, some passages sing to me a well-known, well-loved tune. And every time I read it, at least one passage sings a new song to me, and strikes me in a new way. So it is with only the most powerful expressions of the human spirit.
This year, one passage in particular jumped off the page, harmonizing with my own reflections, joining with my thoughts on our work together here at MIT. As Dr. King describes our forward path toward justice for all, he says, “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”
I believe the most powerful way we can honor Dr. King at this annual breakfast is to assess our progress on the march and to affirm our commitment, as a community, to accelerate the pace of change.
We are gathered at a painful moment for the MIT community. Professor James Sherley has raised issues that reach beyond any single individual or any single institution. In this difficult time, our deepest concern is for Professor Sherley’s health, and for the impact of this situation on his family. But our concern also reaches into the larger MIT community. Because, as Dr. King reminds us, none of us walks alone. We will only move ahead if we do so together.
Students honor Martin Luther King Jr. with creativity, open minds
Sasha Brown, News Office
January 12, 2007
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. design seminar held each Independent Activities Period at MIT offers the 120 students taking it the opportunity to open their minds to diversity and to creatively express their feelings over an intense four-week period.
"Students enjoy that they can come to class and partake in discussions that would normally be avoided in an effort to maintain some amount of political correctness," said senior Ryan Richardson, who is taking the course for the second time this year. "We discuss everything from the civil rights movement to racial stereotyping and biases prominent in the media today."
This is the seventh year for the seminar, which is 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.
Over the course of the month, students prepare artistic and political installations that will be displayed in Lobby 10. The course, which started Jan. 8, meets five days a week from 3 to 5 p.m. and runs through Feb. 2. The installation goes up on Feb. 5, and the projects are entirely student driven, said Weiner. "I don't help them. I let them figure out what to do," she said.
Through discussion groups, readings and guest speakers, the students in the class delve into issues of race and equality they might not explore throughout the year, said Weiner. 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.
MIT News Office
Professor James Sherley ends fast
February 16, 2007
Reflections on activism
by Ali S. Wyne - 2008 MLK Leadership Award
February 16, 2007
MLK Display Vandalized
February 16, 2007
Race and diversity committee formed
November 7, 2007