The 30th annual Fox Cities Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, co-hosted by African Heritage Inc. and the Lawrence University Diversity and Intercultural Center, will be held virtually on January 18.
Typically held in Lawrence’s Memorial Chapel on the evening of MLK Day, the 2021 event is moving online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Those who would like to attend the virtual event will need to register in advance. It’s set for 6 to 7:45 p.m.
“This upcoming MLK Day, it will be 30 years the Fox Cities has come together to honor Dr. King’s legacy and the dedication to racial equality,” Dr. Brittany Bell, assistant dean of students and director of the Diversity and Intercultural Center at Lawrence and co-chair of the Fox Cities Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, said in a press release. “Although the pandemic has changed how we celebrate this year, let us continue to come together in unity. The unrest in our nation has shown us we have lots of work to do.”
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Bettina L. Love, delivering the address, Abolitionist Life: Resistance, Creativity, Hip Hop Civics Ed, Intersectionality, & Black Joy.
Love, an award-winning author and the Athletic Association Endowed Professor at the University of Georgia, will discuss how intersectionality and Abolitionist teaching “creates a space where Black lives matter and sensibilities are nurtured to engage communities in the work of fighting for visibility, inclusion, and justice.” Her talk will call on people to engage in critical dialogues about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities. She will challenge the audience to “envision a world built on Black joy, creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and the rebellious spirit and methods of Abolitionists.”
Music will be performed by Griot B, delivering Agitate: A Story Through Song.
There is no youth essay contest this year due to challenges posed by the pandemic. A book giveaway sponsored by Memorial Presbyterian Church in Appleton and the City of Appleton’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be announced as part of the event.
At Lawrence, the event will be preceded with a series of online educational opportunities focused on antiracism, hosted by the Center for Community Engagement. No classes will be held on the day.