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Tag Archives: Martin Luther King

Activism In Your Own Backyard: How To Spark Change Where You Live

Of the five prompts for the 2016 Martin Luther King essay contest, Case Western Reserve University senior Shadi Admadmehrabi selected the following quote as her guide: “According to your own ability and personality, do not be afraid to experiment with new and creative techniques for achieving reconciliation and social change.”  Ahmadmehrabi's reflection on solving inequities in the community surrounding the CWRU campus earned her a nod as a finalist in this year's contest. Read her essay in full below and leave a comment if you are so inclined:  by Shadi Ahmadmehrabi What does it mean to be a student in Cleveland? What is our role as a community member outside of just going to class and back? How do we understand our neighbors and the fact that the life expectancy of the average... Read More →

[Call For Submissions] 2016 MLK Essay Contest

In a year characterized by racial urgency, the local Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest is expanding to accept entries from students, faculty and staff at Cuyahoga Community College, as well as those at Case Western Reserve University. Participants are invited to reflect on King's connection to Cleveland and the fight for equal rights in our backyard. (King first visited Cleveland in 1956 to speak about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, returning often to raise funds, campaign for Carl Stokes' bid for mayor and help organize a local boycott.) The essays should reflect the themes in King's first book, Stride Toward Freedom, which won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1958. Winners will receive a monetary prize and a copy of one of King's books. Sponsors include the Cleveland Humanities... Read More →

Journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault On The Armor She Needed To Survive As A Black Woman In The South

Journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault speaks at Case Western Reserve University, January 2015 | Photo credit Dan Milner “I am not a person preoccupied by race,” said the groundbreaking journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, instantly believable even in the paradox that her place in history is inextricably tied to race. Exuding warmth and wit and height – even in low-heeled boots – Hunter-Gault asked about 200 listeners at Case Western Reserve University, “What would Dr. King be dreaming now – in the deep South and in the up South?” When she was Charlayne Hunter, oldest child of a Methodist army chaplain and his wife, the teenager spotted King on the sidewalk in Atlanta outside his father’s church, Ebenezer Baptist. “I saw Dr. King on the street and I went to him and he said... Read More →

Connecting King And Soyinka: Some Things Were Meant To Be Looked At Differently

Kerrick Woyshner, 18, was a scholar in the first college-level Anisfield-Wolf class, pioneered by Dr. Lisa Nielson at Case Western Reserve University. Students read essays, poems and books by Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners, attended the September awards ceremony and did original research on topics inspired by the course. “I never realized what motivated my hand to click on the ‘Reading Social Justice: The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards’ class this summer,” Woyshner wrote. “I wanted something new. Though I hailed from a conservative, all-male Catholic high school, I plan on continuing this education my entire life, striving to benefit those who don’t have the resources so that I may one day become the Martin Luther King or, rather, the Kerrick Woyshner of social justice.” A... Read More →

“I Have A Dream”: Collections of Martin Luther King Links From Around The Web

Taylor Branch and Isabel Wilkerson were special guests of the Diane Rehm Show on NPR to discuss Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. One of our favorite quotes from the episode, from Isabel Wilkerson: "Ultimately, what Martin Luther King and the thousands upon thousands of unnamed, unknown people who buttressed his strength and his courage, what they were fighting was a structure that needed to be dismantled in order for justice to prevail in the South."  Lani Guinier, the first black woman to be appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School, will be a featured speaker at the Martin Luther King Jr Celebration at Case Western Reserve University. Martin Luther King III spoke on CBS "This Morning" about his father's legacy and what it means to have the Inauguration and... Read More →

Chairing the Jury

Chairing the jury for the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards is one of the single pleasures of my life. The thought that a poet – a white, female poet – had the foresight to endow a prize to honor excellence and diversity, at the height of the Great Depression, is something of a miracle, isn't it? And in a few days, we will honor her commitment to racial equality and justice by recognizing this year's winners of her prize, the 76th such occasion. It is humbling to thumb through the names of previous winners, including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, and three Nobel laureates, Wole Soyinka, Toni Morrison, and Derek Walcott. God bless Edith Anisfield Wolf, and the Cleveland Foundation for so judiciously protecting her legacy. Read More →
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