Type: Public event

37th Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture

Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI) presents: Dr. Aletha Maybank and Mr. Edward Buckles in conversation with Professor Earl Lewis


Aletha Maybank, Edward Buckles, Earl Lewis

Date & time

Jan 16, 2023, 10:00-11:30 am EST

This year’s theme, “The (R)evolution of MLK: from Segregation to Elevation,” will explore King’s activism after 1964, highlighting the evolution of King’s primary focus on segregation to a broader, more radical, and revolutionary platform that included health, economics, and education. Dr. King’s quote, “White Americans must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society,” defines him as a front-runner in Critical Race Theory.

Panelists from different perspectives will push beyond King’s legacy of “I Have a Dream” and “nonviolence” to a discussion that centers on King’s more challenging and complex legacy calling for our society to seek solutions to the cultural, economic and governmental root causes of racism. This year will feature speakers, Dr. Aletha Maybank, Physician, Chief Health Equity Officer, and Vice President of the American Medical Association, and Mr. Edward Buckles, First-Time Director and Best New Documentary Director Winner of The Albert Maysies Award for the documentary, Katrina Babies.. Each will give a brief lecture before sitting down together for a structured dialogue with moderator, Earl Lewis, a noted social historian, award-winning author, and educational leader.

In addition to a moderated panel, The (R)evolution of Dr. King will be demonstrated through the premier performance of “Black Pilgrims,” a hip-hop and electronic mini-opera/oratorio depicting a sung and spoken fictional conversation between King and Malcolm X. The opera was created by Stephen Rush, professor of dance/music technology, School of Music, Theatre & Dance; and will be performed by Scott Piper, the Norma L. Heyde Faculty Development professor of voice, SMTD; and Daniel Washington, professor of music (voice), SMTD. The opera will exhibit a quite-parallel vision of Civil Rights, from the voices of King and Malcolm X post-travel (India for King and Mecca for Malcom) and the resulting perspectives on how different societies treated “otherness.”

In closing, the event will feature Vincent Bohanan’s song, “We Win,” performed by the Voices of Distinction from the Detroit School of Arts, and conducted by Julian Goods, a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Is RSVP required? No

Contact / more info

MLK Symposium Co-Chairs: Janice Jones, Gregory Thomas, and Gloria Taylor
[email protected]