Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Celebrated at Ithaca College

By David Maley, January 12, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Celebrated at Ithaca College

The life, legacy and messages of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will once again be celebrated at Ithaca College, with a series of educational, entertainment and service activities taking place during the week of January 23–28. All of the on-campus events are free and open to the public.

This year’s celebration theme is “The Ultimate Weakness of Violence,” which is a concept taken from King’s last book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”

Highlights of the week will include a keynote address by Russell John Rickford, a scholar and author who focuses on the black radical tradition; a presentation by the college’s Martin Luther King Scholars; a performance by street dance innovator Storyboard P; and a series of workshops focused on this year’s theme.

A detailed description of the MLK Celebration events can be found at

MLK Celebration Kick-Off Campaign

All day, North Foyer, Campus Center

Martin Luther King Celebration Concert
7:30 p.m., Ford Hall, Whalen Center
Annual School of Music concert, featuring performances by the Ithaca College Choral Ensembles, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and ALANA music students under the direction of Janet Galvan, Derrick Fox and Baruch Whitehead.

Workshop: “Children of Abraham: An Interfaith Text Study on Violence and Nonviolence”

12:10–1 p.m., Klingenstein Lounge, Campus Center
Campus chaplains Abbe Lyons (Jewish), James Touchton (Protestant) and Carsten Martensen (Catholic) and IC Muslim community representative Joseph Fenning will discuss texts from the three Abrahamic religious traditions which challenge us to explore this year’s theme, “the ultimate weakness of violence.”

Workshop: “From the Batman to J. Cole: Masculinity and Violence”
12:10–1 p.m., Clark Lounge, Campus Center
RahK Lash, assistant director for multicultural affairs, will introduce participants to “The Man Box,” a concept that examines hegemonic masculinity, and will discuss how to empower willing individuals to recognize, acknowledge, own and disrupt the toxicity of manhood in order to end violence.

Keynote Address by Russell John Rickford
4 p.m., Emerson Suites, Campus Center
A scholar and author who focuses on the black radical tradition, Rickford is an associate professor in the Department of History at Cornell University who lectures on American social and political history. He has written the only in-depth biography of Betty Shabazz, the late civil rights advocate and wife of Malcolm X, and his latest book is “We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination.”

Civil Right Tour Presentation

4 p.m., Emerson Suites, Campus Center
Through creative performance and the use of multimedia, first-year students in the Ithaca College Martin Luther King Scholar Program will reflect on experiences and knowledge gained through their travels to various parts of Georgia and Alabama as part of the annual Civil Rights Tour.

“Tangerine” Film Screening and Discussion
7 p.m., Emerson Suites, Campus Center
When a transgender sex worker discovers her boyfriend and pimp has been cheating on her while she was locked up, she and her best friend embark on an odyssey leading them through various subcultures of Los Angeles. “Tangerine” is a 2015 American comedy-drama directed by Sean S. Baker and written by Baker and Chris Bergoch, shot entirely on three iPhone 5s smartphones.

Workshop: “Reporting from the Arizona/Mexico Border”

12:10–1 p.m., Klingenstein Lounge, Campus Center
Students Anna Gardner, Juliana Ardila and Theophilus Alexander, along with faculty members Patricia Rodriguez and Robyn Wishna, will report on what they saw, felt and heard while attending the School of the Americas Watch: Convergence at the Border events in Nogales, straddling the Arizona-Mexico border.

Workshop: “Privilege: Taking Out the Sting, Taking in the Reality”
12:10–1 p.m., Clark Lounge, Campus Center
The college’s Diversity Peer Educators will give students the opportunity to examine their personal relationship to privileged identities and be challenged to explore ways in which their individual privileges have impacted their own lives, as well as the lives of others.

Workshop: “Becoming Aware of Nonviolent Resistance in Palestine”
6–7 p.m., Klingenstein Lounge, Campus Center
Students Norah AlJunaidi and Liz Alexander, with faculty member Harriet Malinowitz, will engage participants in a discussion of the obstacles to finding useful information on Palestinian nonviolent resistance, and will provide background and web resources.

Workshop: “Self-Preservation: Police Brutality and Mental Health”
6–7 p.m., Clark Lounge, Campus Center
Candace Edwards from the Ithaca College Office of Admission and Allyson Regis from Cornell University Counseling and Psychological Services will discuss the potential for images of state-sponsored violence and police brutality to cause trauma and anxiety — especially for people and communities of color — and explore community resources and self-care practices to maintain mental health.

Guest Artist Performance by Storyboard P
7:30 p.m., Clark Theatre, Dillingham Center
For more than a decade, Storyboard P has been innovating the Flexing scene, a competitive New York dance form that combines elements of breakdancing with the narrative and emotional intensity of contemporary dance movements. The Brooklyn native has been featured in music videos for Jay-Z, The Bullitts and Dawn Landes; an article in the New Yorker; and a documentary covering his experience dancing in Sweden. With the frame-by-frame precision of an animator and the awe-inducing wizardry of a special-effects artist, he shows us real life through dance, and he chooses to do it wherever the spirit moves him.

MLK Day of Service

9 a.m.–3 p.m., Various Locations
The annual MLK Day of Service is an opportunity for Ithaca College students to volunteer at organizations and agencies in the greater Ithaca community. Among the locations at which students will serve this year are Love Knows No Bounds Redistribution Program, Tompkins County Public Library, Brooktondale Community Center, Finger Lakes ReUse Center, Catholic Charities of Ithaca, New Roots Charter School, Family Reading Partnership and Ithaca Rescue Mission.

After the day of service activities, Todd Bernstein ’79 will lead a reflection with participants. Bernstein founded and directed the annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, the oldest and largest such event in the nation. In 1994 he worked with U. S. Senator Harris Wofford and Congressman John Lewis — both veterans of the Civil Rights movement with Martin Luther King — to create the national Martin Luther King Day of Service. He is president of Global Citizen, a nonprofit organization he founded in 1995 to promote sustainable civic engagement.

The MLK Celebration is sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs (OSEMA). For more information contact the office at or (607)274-3222.