W&L Celebrates the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year's observance of MLK day will comprise a variety of virtual events and lectures.
Washington and Lee University will celebrate the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy this year with a week of virtual lectures and events beginning Jan. 18. The lectures are free and open to the public to view online.
April Ryan, an American reporter, author and White House correspondent for The Grio, will kick off the week with a virtual lecture on Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. Registration is free but required and can be accessed at https://wlu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ht4fM-cjQhCgeQ2n-50JRw.
Ryan has been covering urban issues from the White House as a reporter since the Bill Clinton administration. In its more than 100-year history, she is one of only three African Americans to have served on the board of the prestigious White House Correspondents Association. She is also an esteemed member of the National Press Club.
Ryan is the author of the award-winning book “The Presidency in Black and White,” as well as “At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White,” a book in which she looks at race relations through the lessons and wisdom that mothers have given their children. Her latest book is “Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House.” Ryan also writes a blog, “Fabric of America.”
Other events of the week include a children’s celebration in honor of King’s birthday on Jan. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Interested participants are encouraged to stop by Sweet Treats Bakery in downtown Lexington for a cupcake and gift bag. The Africana Studies Program at W&L will also host a virtual event on Jan. 21.
W&L will also host the MLK Reflections Shabbat virtual service on Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. Registration is free but required and can be accessed here. This year’s event will combine two beloved campus traditions: the Reflections Dinner and MLK Shabbat. Speakers will include students, faculty, staff and members of the wider Lexington community, and the program will conclude with a brief service to welcome Shabbat.
W&L Hillel also offers “shabbatote” bags that include materials to help participants create their own Shabbat experience at home. Request a kit here.
“We hope to see parents, alumni and friends of W&L from across the country and around the world at the service,” said Maggie Shapiro Haskett, director of Jewish Life at W&L.
To close out the week of celebrations, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, will give a virtual address on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. that is free and open to the public to watch at https://wlu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ab2-hrO7QxyXnYQ9h49QBw.
Glaude is an author, political commentator, public intellectual and educator who examines the complex dynamics of the American experience. His writings include “Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul,” “In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America,” and his most recent, the New York Times bestseller “Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own.” Glaude’s work takes a comprehensive look at Black communities and the difficulties of race in the United States.
As a columnist for TIME magazine and an MSNBC contributor on programs like “Morning Joe” and “Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace,” Glaude is a frequent national media contributor. He regularly appears on the NBC News program “Meet the Press.” Glaude also hosts Princeton’s AAS podcast, a conversation around the field of African American Studies and the Black experience in the 21st century.
More information about all of the week’s events can be found online at go.wlu.edu/MLK.