MLK Week themes at St. Mike’s: Community, justice

January 13, 2017

“The Power of Community and the Ethics of Justice” will be the theme for Rev. Nyle Fort, keynote speaker during The 25th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation on Monday, January 23 at Saint Michael’s College.

His day on campus launches a week of activities Jan. 23-28 to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Major campus-wide panel-led reflections/discussions, one about Saint Michael’s community issues of diversity and justice, and the other about changing national political and social realities, will be Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon, respectively. Other events later in the week are a film, a poetry slam, and a gospel choir concert. Here is the schedule:

The Power of Community and the Ethics of Justice:
Defining community – whose community?

Keynote speaker Nyle Fort is a minister, organizer, philanthropist, and scholar whose commitment to global transformative justice has led him to Ferguson, Missouri, to help build the Movement for Black Lives and across the nation to bring awareness to the killings of unarmed black people in the United States. He recently participated in the Vatican’s Third World Meeting of Popular Movements. Some of his writings have been featured in publications such as the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy and Socialism and Democracy, The Guardian, Huffington Post, The Root, and more.


11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m., LUNCHEON, Roy Event Room – Dion Student Center. Rev. Fort will speak about “The Moral Imperative of Teaching for Justice: Making the Invisible Visible.”

4:30 p.m., CONVOCATION, Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel

Rev. Fort’s theme is “The Power of Community and the Ethics of Justice.” He will ask: “What is the role of justice and faith in creating an inclusive community and society. What kind of community would we have if all lives really mattered?”


7 p.m., REFLECTIONS ON COMMUNITY, Dion Student Center

An evening of reflections and conversations about the lives and realities of members of the Saint Michael’s community, as panelists help ponder questions about community, belonging, responsibility, inclusion, diversity, and reflect on our role in creating the inclusive Saint Michael’s community and society long held out by the College’s leadership as ideals. Panelists: Professors Traci Griffith (media studies, journalism & digital arts); Tara Natarajan (economics), Kristin Gehsmann (education), Declan McCabe (biology), Shefali Misra (political science) and Mike Bosia (political science). Facilitated by Professor Patricia Delaney (anthropology/sociology).


11:30 a.m.–1:15 p.m., FOOD FOR THOUGHT DISCUSSION, Alliot Hall

Faculty/staff led roundtable lunch discussion on the Trump presidency and its implications for the society and our campus community. What are the domestics and international implications? Is the Trump presidency an anomaly in American politics or a reality of a democratic society? What do we think the impact will be on labor, civil rights, women’s rights, and American relations with the international community?


7 p.m., Documentary film: DIVIDED BY DIVERSITY, McCarthy Arts Center

Experience the lives of five teenagers from Brooklyn as the play basketball in a small Vermont town. The documentary screening will be followed by a conversation with Director Duane Carleton, one of the players involved, and his host mother.


7 p.m., POETRY SLAM FESTIVAL, McCarthy Arts Center

Five of the best upcoming and established poetry slam artists: Mic-Andre (New York), Muslim Girls (Vermont), Cedrick Dale Hoard (Wisconsin), Danez Smith (Minnesota), Rajni Eddins (Vermont)


4 p.m., PLATTSBURGH STATE GOSPEL CHOIR, Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel

Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir, the largest in the region, has constantly emphasized the breadth and depth of gospel music to expose the region to this unique American genre and to honor those killed during the Civil Rights Movement. The choir fuses traditional gospel, urban gospel, contemporary Christian, European harmonies, Caribbean and Afrocentric rhythms and overtones. Limited seating capacity for 350. Doors open at 3:15 p.m.


Information: Moise St. Louis, director of the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Services/Associate Dean of Students, 802-654-2663,

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