Ithaca College to Celebrate MLK Virtually in 2021

By Robin Roger, January 15, 2021
This year’s celebration features four days of engaging events starting on Jan. 25.

This year, due to COVID-19, Ithaca College’s annual Martin Luther King Celebration may look different, but it will still include a diverse array of events that will have a lasting impact on attendees. The celebration runs from Jan. 25-29, and will feature presentations, performance, panel discussions and a virtual concert.

Below is the list of MLK Week events that are free and open to the public:

Monday, January 25

spoken word poet FreeQuency

Spoken word poet FreeQuency will perform on Monday, Jan. 25. 

Building Community Through Action”

A panel discussion with local activists in the greater Ithaca area. Panelists Christa Núñez, Alexa Esposito, and Josh Dolan will share personal experiences and insights on how they have turned community ideals into action. This event will run in conjunction with a guide to alternative service and community service opportunities published by the Office of Student Engagement.

5:30-7 p.m.

SAB Presents: Spoken Word Poet

The Ithaca College Student Activities Board (SAB) will sponsor a spoken word poetry performance by FreeQuency.

7-8 p.m.

Black Students and Burnout

Black Artists United explores "Black Students and Burnout." What does it mean to be a black student in a predominantly white institution? How can we see ourselves as our own top priority? When can we create boundaries within our work and social life when saying yes to favors that do not benefit us? 

8 p.m.

Tuesday, January 26

woman in a tan sweater

Rita Bunatal '16, founder of Malaika Apparel, will speak about her experiences with activism on Tuesday, Jan. 26. 

IC Voices: Activism is Our Legacy with Rita Bunatal

IC Voices will continue its interview series with Ithaca College alumna Rita Bunatal. Rita played an integral role in the 2015 POC at IC movement and continues to be an influential voice in the IC community. Following her graduation, she founded and owns the fashion line – Malaika Apparel.

5:30-6:30 p.m.

MLK Scholars Program: “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Join first-year MLK Scholars in a series of brief group conversations to discuss the process and impact of completing their final two assignments for their US Civil Rights seminar — a paper submitted to the Biden/Harris administration addressing “Where Do We Go From Here?” and the creation of an original social justice learning resource. The first of a three-event series throughout the week, this event will have a theme centered around “Systems and Structures.”

12:15-12:45 p.m.

Wednesday, January 27

man with glasses and a beard

Rabbi Saul J. Berman will speak about a citizen's duty to vote and protest in a democratic society on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

MLK Scholars Program: “Where Do We Go From Here?”

The MLK Scholars will host the second event in their three-part series. This conversation will be structured around the theme of “Representation and Validation.”

6-6:30 p.m.

Speaker: "The Duty to Vote, The Duty to Protest: A Biblical Perspective"

Co-sponsored by Ithaca College’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, this event will feature speaker Rabbi Saul J. Berman, professor of Jewish Law at Yeshiva University and at Columbia University Law School. Berman was arrested during Civil Rights demonstrations in Selma in 1965 and will share a Biblical perspective on a citizen's duty to vote and duty to protest in a democratic society.

6:30 p.m. 

Thursday, January 28

MLK Scholars Program: “Where Do We Go From Here?

The MLK Scholars will host the final event in their three-part series this week. This conversation will be structured around the theme of “Trauma, Isms, and Rights.”12:15-12:45 p.m.

Friday, January 29

music professor

Professor Sidney Outlaw, award-winning baritone vocalist

MLK Celebration Concert

The School of Music honors the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with an annual concert. Under the direction of Baruch Whitehead, this year's concert features a range of beautiful pieces that honor the tradition of strength and activism in the Black community, including traditional gospel hymns and spirituals, pieces by contemporary Black composer Omar Thomas, a special virtual performance of "Glory," from the movie "Selma," with members of the IC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Grant Cooper.

You may access the concert at the School of Music's Youtube page.

7:30 p.m.

For more information and to view and register for events, visit the MLK Celebration website.