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W&M King commemoration to explore the power of protests

  • A black and white photo shows a large group of people marching and holding signs about employment
    Taking a stand:  Martin Luther King Jr. leads the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.  
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William & Mary’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration will focus on not only the renowned civil rights leader, but present-day movements happening in the local area and across the country.

“Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: The Power of Protest, Marches and College Students,” sponsored by William & Mary’s Center for Student Diversity, will take place virtually through Zoom at 7 p.m. on Feb. 3.

The event will feature a panel of student, faculty and alumni speakers moderated by CSD Associate Director Shené V. Owens and Alton Coston III '23.

“While planning this program, I wanted to tap into how Dr. King's movement was led by college students,” said Owens. “William & Mary students are adding their voices to present days movements, and that led me to reflect back on the efforts of SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) and the Freedom Riders.”

The panelists include: A. Benjamin Spencer, dean and chancellor professor of W&M Law School; Felecia Hayes '21; Jackson Sasser, visiting assistant professor of government; and Justin Reid '09, director of community initiatives at Virginia Humanities.

 “I’m excited to hear the range of perspectives from the panelists,” said Owens. “They will address the history of student activism, the role of student activists, as well as the legal rights of student activists.”