Bates College MLK Day highlights

This year’s theme: “Mass Incarceration and Black Citizenship.” All events are free and open to the public. Some require advance tickets. For a complete list and more information:

Sunday, Jan. 17

7-8 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Worship Service: Speaker is the Rev. Dr. Peter Paris, author and retired professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. The service includes moments of reflection, jazz, gospel and multifaith music, Peter Gomes Chapel.

Monday, Jan. 18

9-10:30 a.m., “The Half Life of Freedom:” Keynote address by William Jelani Cobb, associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut and staff writer for The New Yorker. He specializes in post-Civil War African-American history and is the author of several books including “The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and Paradox of Progress,” at the chapel. The event will be livestreamed at

10:45-12:15, “Something’s Wrong Here:” A play which raises questions about systemic racism in communities and the justice system, performed by youths incarcerated at Long Creek Youth Development Center and members of youth program MLK Fellows, at Schaeffer Theatre.

10:45-12:15, Panel discussion: Criminal defense practitioners share insights into what life in the trenches of the justice system is really like, led by law school professors Christopher Northrop, E. James Burke and Jamesa Drake, at Commons 221.

1:15-1:45 p.m., Bates Voices: Honoring Martin: Bates faculty and students honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work by sharing short original writings addressing his legacy, at Commons, Fireplace Lounge.

2-3:30 p.m.,”Working on Juvenile Justice with Immigrant and Refugee Youth in Lewiston-Auburn:” A workshop led by refugee community leaders Rilwan Osman, Khasin Saban and Abdikadir Negeye, at Pettengill G65.

2-3:30 p.m, Juvenile justice panel discussion: Professionals involved with minority communities are featured. Panelists include Jay Pennell, juvenile community correction officer; Fatuma Hussein of United Somali Women of Maine; Tamara Manzer of Youth MOVE Maine; Sarah Davis, who directs Lewiston schools’ Campaign for Grade Level Reading; Julia Sleeper of Tree Street Youth Center; Jerome Bennett, Disproportionate Minority Contact Coordinator for the Department of Corrections; and Abi Maycock of Maine Youth Court, at Pettengill G21.

2-3:30 p.m., “The Last Chance to Effectively Mitigate Implicit Bias in Defenders, Prosecutors and Judges:” A panel discussion led by law school professors and administrators, at Commons 226.

3:45 p.m., The Rev. Benjamin Mays debate between students from Morehouse College in Atlanta, from which MLK began his series of academic degrees, and Bates College, from which Mays graduated. Annual popular debate will focus on prison reform or police reform, at Olin Concert Hall, tickets required by calling 786-6400. The event will be live-streamed at

7:30 p.m., “All That We Are: The Afro-Woman’s Story: Sankofa explores history and experience of African diaspora through dance, music, theater, spoken word and more, at Schaeffer Theatre. Tickets required, 786-8294.

Tuesday, Jan. 19

1:30-2:30 p.m., The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read-In: Bates College staff and students share a book with Martel Elementary School students at Martel school. For more information: Ellen Alcorn, [email protected]

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