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MLK Day 2021: Beloved Community Teach-In

SNC students, staff, faculty and alumni participated in the MLK Day offerings Monday, Jan. 18. There were five opportunities to engage with topics related to the work and life of Martin Luther King Jr. and how to advocate for and support the completion of his unfinished work. Coretta Scott King described the “Beloved Community” as a society where “caring and compassion drive political policies that support the worldwide elimination of poverty and hunger and all forms of bigotry and violence. At its core, the ‘Beloved Community’ is an engine of reconciliation.”

Opening Address
Brian Bruess, President of St. Norbert College

Watch the Recording

Keynote Conversation: “The Three-Dimensional King: The Memory, the Man and the Movement”
Saida Grundy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology, African-American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies
Boston University

Watch the Recording

A three part conversation about Martin Luther King Jr. that contextualizes his commemorative holiday, reclaims his radical commitment to direct action strategies, and bridges his legacy to today’s movement for Black liberation.

Session 1

“Continuing the Conversation: Peaceful BLM/BSU protest at SNC”
Corey Ciesielczyk, Director of Academic Success Support Accessibility and Athletic Liaison

Watch the Recording (SNC login required)

An open discussion of cultural climate both locally and nationally.


“We’re Not There Yet”
Angel Saavedra Cisneros, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Watch the Recording

Presentation Slides


This lecture/workshop presented some opportunities for thought and sharing by contextualizing existing research on racial bias, identity politics and agency.


“Before Martin, Howard: A Revolutionary Interpretation of Jesus”
Derek Elkins, Interim Co-Director for the Emmaus Center for Spiritual Life and Vocation

Watch the Recording

When Martin Luther King, Jr. was a child he listened to hours of conversation between his father and a friend from Morehouse College, Howard Thurman. Years later, when MLK, Jr. was a Ph.D. student at Boston University, his path crossed Howard Thurman’s once again while Thurman served as the first African-American Dean of the Chapel at Boston University. King is rumored to have carried a copy of Thurman’s foundational work, “Jesus and the Disinherited,” in his jacket pocket throughout the Civil Rights Movement. This workshop explores Thurman’s revolutionary understanding of “the religion of Jesus,” reflects on how it shaped the souls of civil rights leaders, and empowers you to act on his profoundly hopeful and liberating message in our own time and place.

Session 2

“Christianity and Racism in the Aftermath of the Trump Presidency”
Craig Ford, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies

Watch the Recording

This celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day brings us to the close of one of the most tumultuous presidencies in American history. As the nation transitions, this lecture engages two questions: how to make sense of the Trump presidency within the context of America’s history with racism, and what role Christians might play as we look to the months and years ahead.


“The Role of the Academy in Activism for Social Justice”
Jennifer Hockenbery, Divisional Dean of Humanities

Watch the Recording

This presentation discusses how Martin Luther King Jr. found insight on activism from Hegel and why bell hooks advocates that academic work is social justice work, while opening the floor to pragmatic examples of how the freedom of the academic can inspire the fight for freedom for all people.


Note: “A Constellation of Images” offered by Rev. James P. Neilson O.Praem is not available for viewing.

Session 3

“Race, Reading, and Empathy”
Raquel Lopez, Associate Professor of Psychology

Watch the Recording


Reading Black people’s stories is a vitally important practice in anti-racist work. In this session, we learn about several great novels, hear insights about the authors,and workshop ways to use this information in our community.


“Learning and Unlearning and Relearning as Steps Forward”
Kristin Vogel, Director of Library

Watch the Recording (SNC login required)

This conversation focuses on how our habits and our expertise can trip us up and what we can do about it, particularly applying this to social justice, crucial conversations and making a difference.

Session 1

“Continuing the Conversation: Peaceful BLM/BSU protest at SNC”
Corey Ciesielczyk, Director of Academic Success Support Accessibility and Athletic Liaison

Watch the Recording (SNC login required)

An open discussion of cultural climate both locally and nationally.


“We’re Not There Yet”
Angel Saavedra Cisneros, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Watch the Recording

Presentation Slides


This lecture/workshop presented some opportunities for thought and sharing by contextualizing existing research on racial bias, identity politics and agency.


“Before Martin, Howard: A Revolutionary Interpretation of Jesus”
Derek Elkins, Interim Co-Director for the Emmaus Center for Spiritual Life and Vocation

Watch the Recording

When Martin Luther King, Jr. was a child he listened to hours of conversation between his father and a friend from Morehouse College, Howard Thurman. Years later, when MLK, Jr. was a Ph.D. student at Boston University, his path crossed Howard Thurman’s once again while Thurman served as the first African-American Dean of the Chapel at Boston University. King is rumored to have carried a copy of Thurman’s foundational work, “Jesus and the Disinherited,” in his jacket pocket throughout the Civil Rights Movement. This workshop explores Thurman’s revolutionary understanding of “the religion of Jesus,” reflects on how it shaped the souls of civil rights leaders, and empowers you to act on his profoundly hopeful and liberating message in our own time and place.

Session 2

“Christianity and Racism in the Aftermath of the Trump Presidency”
Craig Ford, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies

Watch the Recording

This celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day brings us to the close of one of the most tumultuous presidencies in American history. As the nation transitions, this lecture engages two questions: how to make sense of the Trump presidency within the context of America’s history with racism, and what role Christians might play as we look to the months and years ahead.


“The Role of the Academy in Activism for Social Justice”
Jennifer Hockenbery, Divisional Dean of Humanities

Watch the Recording

This presentation discusses how Martin Luther King Jr. found insight on activism from Hegel and why bell hooks advocates that academic work is social justice work, while opening the floor to pragmatic examples of how the freedom of the academic can inspire the fight for freedom for all people.


Note: “A Constellation of Images” offered by Rev. James P. Neilson O.Praem is not available for viewing.

Session 3

“Race, Reading, and Empathy”
Raquel Lopez, Associate Professor of Psychology

Watch the Recording


Reading Black people’s stories is a vitally important practice in anti-racist work. In this session, we learn about several great novels, hear insights about the authors,and workshop ways to use this information in our community.


“Learning and Unlearning and Relearning as Steps Forward”
Kristin Vogel, Director of Library

Watch the Recording (SNC login required)

This conversation focuses on how our habits and our expertise can trip us up and what we can do about it, particularly applying this to social justice, crucial conversations and making a difference.

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