Each year, Case Western Reserve University honors Martin Luther King Jr.—one of America’s greatest champions of social justice and equality—with a celebration that comprises a range of activities including workshops, discussions and acclaimed speakers. This year’s celebration theme is “Hope in Solidarity.”

Writer, researcher and entrepreneur Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. Many additional programs will be presented as part of the celebration.

Programs are organized and presented by Case Western Reserve University schools, departments and student organizations, aiming to remember King’s mission and inspire hope.

All members of the university community are invited to observe King’s legacy over the coming month through participation in the following activities.

Full details and registration information are available online at case.edu/events/mlk/about-the-celebration/.

The Human Library: From Solitude to Solidarity

Friday, Jan. 27, from noon to 2 p.m.
Kelvin Smith Library, first floor

The Human Library is an international movement that promotes an inclusive way to challenge prejudice through social contact. Just like a real library, a visitor to the Human Library can choose a “book” from a range of titles—but the difference is that the books are people.

“Reading” is a conversation between participants, who will consider what it means to live in solidarity with those who have been and continue to be targeted by bias, hate, violence, etc. and how dialogue can work to break barriers that separate us.

Kelvin Smith Library will sponsor this event.

Black + Jewish

Friday, Jan. 27, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Geller Hillel Building

Mayana Branigan will speak about her experience as a black Jew, as well as her family’s experience in Jewish and non-Jewish communities around the world. To quote Branigan: “For as long as I can remember I have been bothered by the injustices of the world. Growing up as an Israeli, American, black, Jewish woman in Israel has granted me a unique perspective and passion for social justice.”

She will lead a discussion surrounding these themes.

Cleveland Hillel will sponsor this event.

Get the Lead Out: A Call to Action to End Lead Poisoning in Cleveland

Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Karamu House (2355 E 89th St.)

The lead epidemic in Cleveland is worse than what happened in Flint, Michigan. In Flint, one in 20 kids were poisoned by lead. By comparison, in the Glenville neighborhood, one in three children are poisoned by lead.

This event will feature a documentary screening, a panel of experts, a discussion and problem-solving activities aimed at resolving the lead epidemic in Cleveland.

It will bring together members of the Greater University Circle area, including students, faculty and staff of CWRU, community members and medical professionals.

The CWRU Law School’s Kramer Law Clinic, Neighborhood Connections and Greater University Circle Community Health Initiative will sponsor the event.

Food for the Soul

Thursday, Feb. 2, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.
Thwing Center atrium

This longstanding and popular CWRU tradition celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr. with readings of theme-related poetry and prose from students, staff and faculty.

Food will be provided from a local soul food caterer.

If you are interested in reading, please apply by emailing theoma@case.edu with your name and selection.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Student Activities & Leadership will sponsor the event.

An Evening of Building with Ignacio Rivera

Thursday, Feb. 2, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Community Studies Center, Room 108

Ignacio Rivera is a queer, two-spirit, Black-Boricua Taino poet, performer and activist. Rivera has spoken nationally and internationally on racism, sexism, LGBTQ issues, anti-oppression, anti-violence, sexual liberation and multi-issue organizing.

The LGBT Center intends to link Rivera’s voice to its current intersectional programs and collaborations.

The CWRU LGBT Center, Mandel Allies and the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women will sponsor the event.

MLK Convocation featuring Margot Lee Shetterly

Friday, Feb. 3, at 12:30 p.m.

Writer, researcher and entrepreneur Margot Lee Shetterly is the author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (Fall 2016, HarperCollins), which recently was brought to the screen as a major motion picture.

The President’s Office, the Office of Donor Relations and University Events, and the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity will sponsor this event.

Social Justice Teach-In

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Tinkham Veale University Center

The Social Justice Teach-In is designed to inspire students and community members to be active and engaged citizens, to increase their understanding of social justice issues and to enhance their leadership skills in areas such as service, advocacy, and philanthropy.

The InterReligious Taskforce on Central America, Lambda Eta Mu, Alpha Phi Omega, Center for Civic Engagement & Learning and the Social Justice Institute will sponsor the event.

MLK Reflection Competition Celebration

Friday, Feb. 24, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Kelvin Smith Library, second floor

Winners of the MLK Reflection Competition will be invited to read from and discuss their work at the reception and celebration. The reception and celebration are open to the community.

The Cleveland Humanities Collaborative, Voices from the Village, Kelvin Smith Library, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, Cleveland Play House, the Office for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity and the Office of Multicultural Affairs will sponsor the event.