An annual celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Salve Regina’s MLK Week examines the history of the civil rights movement and the impact of systemic racism and persistent racial disparities locally and nationally. Through education, dialogue and community engagement and service, MLK Week seeks to advance committed action around the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy, particularly anti-racism and nonviolence, and further the mercy, Catholic mission of the University.
Schedule of Events
Monday, Jan. 18
36th Annual NAACP Birthday Program
Noon, via livestream
Join the Newport County branch of the NAACP and Salve Regina’s Center for Community Engagement and Service for an MLK Day conversation with guest speaker Jerome Nurse, who is currently serving as the command senior enlisted leader of the Naval Academy Preparatory School.
Wednesday, Jan. 20
Presidential Inauguration At-Home Viewing
Noon, via livestream
Stop by McKillop Library beginning Monday, Jan. 18 to pick up a viewing party bag with a livestream link for the presidential inauguration, treats and reflection questions for this historic event. While watching the inauguration at home, you are invited to reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, your hopes for our nation today and the significance of Kamala Harris's election as the first African American and Asian American woman in high office.
Lecture and Dialogue: “Keeping the Faith: The Past and Future of Civil Rights in the United States – Reflections on a Historic Election” With Bernard Lafayette Jr.
5 p.m., via livestream
On this historic inauguration day, join civil rights activist Bernard Lafayette Jr. as he reflects on the work of the civil rights movement past and present and the ongoing need to advance the work of racial justice and civil rights in United States. Facilitated by Dr. Jim Ludes, vice president for public research and initiatives and executive director of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy, with faculty and student respondents.
Film Screening and Dialogue: “Just Mercy”
7 p.m., Bazarsky Lecture Hall
Join the Salve Regina community for a film screening of “Just Mercy,” based on the best-selling memoir by Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. Starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, the film chronicles an attorney’s experiences fighting wrongful convictions and mass incarceration, redressing issues of systemic racial injustice. The screening will be followed by a discussion led by Dr. Anthony LoPresti, associate professor in the Department of Religious and Theological Studies. Facilitated by the Mercy Center for Spiritual Life.
Thursday, Jan. 21
MLK Sermons and Speeches
2-4 p.m., Our Lady of Mercy Chapel
Visit the chapel to hear select sermons and speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. and spend some time listening to his most challenging and encouraging words. Be inspired in the work of justice and nonviolence. Drop in when you can, stay for as long as you like. Facilitated by the Mercy Center for Spiritual Life and Dr. Anthony LoPresti, associate professor in the Department of Religious and Theological Studies.
Community Read and Discussion: “Just Mercy”
4 p.m., via livestream
Join the Inclusive Reading Club for a discussion of Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy,” an unforgettable true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us and a clarion call to end mass incarceration in America. Free copies of the book are available in McKillop Library and select chapters are also available online. Facilitated by Dr. Timothy Neary, professor in the Department of History; Dr. Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley, vice president for mission integration; and Father Ray Malm, University chaplain.
Vigil for Nonviolence
5:30 p.m., Our Lady of Mercy Chapel
Join the Mercy Center for Spiritual Life in remembering the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. as we seek to bend the arch of the moral universe towards justice. “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the one who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”
Lecture and Dialogue: “Health is a Human Right: Addressing Racial and Economic Disparities in a Pandemic”
7 p.m., via livestream
Join Ana Novais, deputy director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, for a lecture and dialogue around racial and economic disparities as they relate to the coronavirus pandemic. Novais has worked in public health for more than 30 years and for the Department of Health since 1998. She leads the department’s efforts to achieve health equity by focusing on health disparities and access to care, chronic disease management and prevention, environmental health and maternal and child health.
Friday, Jan. 22
Town Hall: Community Dialogue on Equity and Inclusion
1 p.m., via livestream
Join President Kelli J. Armstrong and members of the Presidential Commission on Equity and Inclusion to learn about their efforts and share reflections on the work of equity and inclusion at Salve Regina.
Spoken Word and Song: “Bending the Arc of the Universe Toward Justice”
4 p.m., via livestream
Join the Office of Multicultural Programs and Retention for a lively spoken word and song event with contributions from students, faculty, and staff, advancing the work of justice and mercy and calling for social action and transformation in the spirit and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Featuring contributions by Chiquita Baylor, Dr. Troy Catterson, Dr. Robin Hoffmann and Dr. Sean O'Callaghan.
Saturday, Jan. 23
Diversity in Motion Workshop
Noon to 4 p.m.
Join the Diversity in Motion Research Collective for “Embodied Power Flower: Intersectionality and The Complexity of Identity and Oppression.” Participants will explore how all inequality is not created equal, examining how social identities can overlap, creating a complexity of oppression and privilege. Utilizing creative and kinesthetic movement and creative arts therapy modalities, participants will examine their experienced and multifaceted identity to understand the depths of the inequalities and the relationships among them.
Open to Salve Regina students, faculty and staff. To register, email email@example.com. Include your name, email address and phone number and mention that you are part of the Salve Regina community joining the Jan. 23 workshop.
Teach-In for Justice and Mercy
Faculty from across the disciplines will open their classrooms to the wider campus and local community to explore topics related to issues of racial justice, human rights, civil rights, mercy and the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy, particularly anti-racism and nonviolence.
Additional livestream links will be added closer to the event dates - check back for updates.
- Cultural Competency with Denis Riel, 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20. Focusing on the disparate representation of African-Americans in the justice system, root causes and current reform efforts.
- Slavery in Colonial Rhode Island with Dr. Fred Zilian, 10-11:15 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21. Enslaved African Americans in colonial Rhode Island lived and worked, and even sometimes prayed and played, next to their white masters, yet they had few if any basic human and civil rights. Examine early slavery in British North America, Rhode Island’s role in the Atlantic slave trade, slavery in Narragansett Country, the business of slavery in colonial Newport, the lives of the enslaved and resistance to enslavement. To join via Zoom, use this link or the meeting ID 921 6868 9176 and passcode 8296319567.
- Roots of Blues with Dr. Donald St. Jean, 2:15-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21. Focusing on the music and artists of the civil rights movement, engage in a discussion of racial injustice past and present. To join via Zoom, use this link or the meeting ID 930 8456 5078 and passcode 9548379622.
- Ethical and Legal Issues in Sports with Jody Mooradian, 3:45-5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21. Focusing on the history of minorities and women, engage in a discussion of ethics and social justice in sports. To join via Zoom, use this link or the meeting ID 994 1166 5932 and passcode 9794655507.
- Environmental Justice with Dr. Craig Condella, 5:15-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21. Focusing on an introduction to environmental justice, consider the ways in which environmental abuses have historically, and up until the present day, disproportionately impacted the poor and people of color. To join via Zoom, use this link or the meeting ID 934 3107 1942 and passcode 2662608204.
- Just Socrates in Plato's Apology with Dr. Paul Medeiros, 2:30-3:45 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22. MLK’s sermons and letters claim the philosopher Socrates exemplifies peaceful activism. Learn about the virtue justice as explained and demonstrated by Socrates before the court of ancient Athens and explore what justice has to do with the unusual life of philosophers. To join via Zoom, use this link or the meeting ID 180 469 7289 and passcode socrates.
- Fleece-tie blankets, Wednesday, Jan. 20, Gerety Hall. Join Pauline Perkins-Moye, director of social services for the Newport Housing Authority, to make fleece-tie blankets for seniors and discuss how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the residents of the Park Holm Senior Center.
- Game night, 2-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, Florence Gray Center. Join Orlando Peace, program coordinator at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newport County, to assist with an after-school game night and discuss how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted local students.
- Dinner for the homeless, Friday, Jan. 22, Mercy Center for Spiritual Life. Join Ken Robinson to prepare dinner and baked goods for residents of the McKinney Shelter and discuss how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the shelter’s needs.