“Closing the Divide: Building Communities of Support, Belonging and Togetherness” is the theme of this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Case Western Reserve University. The celebration will feature a number of virtual events, including the MLK Convocation, the national speaker for the Power of Diversity Lecture Series, and other programs on Black history, racial equity, social justice and civic engagement.

“Nelson Mandela once said that ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,’” said Robert L. Solomon, Esq., vice president of the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. “I believe Black History month is about education. However, the month of February is a fraction of the time we should spend learning about the contributions of Black people to the world. Black history is American history. Black history is world history.

“It is my hope that our CWRU community will not only learn new information during Black History Month, but will also recognize that the contributions of Black people should be included in our educational endeavors every day, both inside and outside of the classroom to encompass a complete knowledge of history. By knowing what has been excluded from our education, we can truly be poised to change the world for the better.”

This year’s celebration begins Friday, Feb. 5, with the MLK Convocation, featuring a livestream keynote address by public policy expert and author Heather McGhee. Her forthcoming book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, explores the true cost of racism as the common denominator of our most troubling public problems, and offers a crucial rethink on what we can do to create a more prosperous nation for all.

Also on the calendar is a virtual lecture by political strategist, professor and author Donna Brazile Tuesday, Feb. 9. Brazile is the national speaker for the Power of Diversity Lecture Series from the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. She will discuss the increase in the number of women in Congress and their potential impact on politics.

Many other virtual events are scheduled throughout the month of February, including a virtual workshop on community organizing, poetry performances and discussions on racism.

The events are organized and presented by CWRU schools, departments and student organizations. All members of the university and the community are invited. 

Learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Events at CWRU.