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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Week January 18-23, 2016

Two keynote speakers highlighted Grand Valley's commemoration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 2016.

Touré is well-known for his social commentary. He is a former NBC contributor and former MSNBC co-host of "The Cycle." A contributing editor to "Rolling Stone" and other publications, he is the author of several books, including "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now."

Patrisse Cullors is a Los Angeles-based social activist who, with two other people, started the movement #BlackLivesMatter in 2013, taking their inspiration from the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. As the truth and reinvestment campaign director for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Cullors works to build the response capacity of communities that are affected by violence.



Patrisse Cullors

Patrisse Cullors

Commemoration week activities: January 18-23. 

Touré was the keynote speaker on Monday, January 18, in the Fieldhouse on the Allendale Campus.

Cullors gave a presentation on Wednesday, January 20, at the Kirkhof Center on the Allendale Campus, which will be simulcast to an audience in the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium, on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

It marked the fourth year that classes have been canceled on the King holiday, allowing more students, faculty and staff members to participate in events.

Follow the week's events on social media using #GVSUMLK. Click here for a link to a flyer of events.


New in 2016, a Teach-In was held during the commemoration week, on January 21, from 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m.. Grand Valley has hosted Teach-Ins for the past two years in the spring. Organizers said holding the Teach-In during commemoration week activities will deepen and advance social justice work that has been inspired by King.

Sponsored by University Academic Senate and Student Senate, the theme of the Teach-In is "Power, Privilege and Difficult Dialogues." Learn more about the event here.