On Thursday, the U will host Imani Perry, a professor from the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, to give a keynote address on Martin Luther King Jr.
The speech will take place at the end of the U’s MLK Week celebration. Perry’s talk, titled “Do Black Lives Matter After All?” will explore the struggles of racial inequality in America.
This topic is pertinent, given recent events involving police shootings. The deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and of Darrien Hunt in Saratoga Springs, Utah, have sparked outrage and protests from large groups across the country. The topic of racial inequality has topped news coverage for months now.
Neelam Chand, spokesperson for the U’s Office for Equity and Diversity, is the co-chair for this year’s MLK Week celebration and is excited for the keynote address.
“[This year’s] theme, ‘Stolen Rights: Repressed. Revoked. Redefined.’ allows us to talk about what the civil rights movement looks like today and how we can be more involved to create positive change much like Dr. King’s examples,” Chand said.
Chand said Perry is an excellent choice for this year’s speaker because of the relevance of her topic for U students.
“The idea of engaging the community together to fight for equality and influence positive change is something we can learn from Dr. King,” Chand said. “Whether it be through a rally, march, art, silent protests, social media or in an educational institution, there is power in numbers, and we see it happening in today’s activism.”
Perry graduated with both a Ph.D. and a J.D. from Harvard University in 2000. She recently stated in a Princeton University interview that people like Martin Luther King Jr. “transformed the world, transformed the country [and] made it more just. I want [students] to have a sense not just of racial inequality in terms of them being vulnerable but them standing in a tradition of extraordinary courage.”
The keynote address is free and open to the public. Perry’s address will begin at 12 p.m. in the Union West Ballroom.
Chand: “We encourage everyone to participate and be a part of remembering the work of Dr. King and recognizing the work we still have to accomplish together.”