What was dormant must now be revived
Renaissance is French for “rebirth.” It implies the survival of art, literature, and culture through a period of darkness. Renaissance evokes the spirit of authenticity and calls on students to be their authentic selves. As the first MLK Campus Commemoration without COVID restrictions, a Renaissance speaks to the resilience and longevity of Dr. King’s movement. This year, we celebrate his legacy through a cultural arts lens with an awakening of radical love, a re-building of community, and centering ancestral gratitude.
When we reflect on King’s legacy on social justice and community organizing, “radical love” is at the core of his work. “Radical Love” can be thought of as the ability to …… In a similar vein, bell hooks in her article “Love as a Practice of Freedom” states “without love, our efforts to liberate ourselves and our world community from oppression and exploitation are doomed.” She speaks to the “ethic of love” that centers our collective work, solidarity movements, and transformational practices and actions of worldbuilding. This week we invite campus partners to put your “love ethic” in action on NC State’s campus by practicing rest as revolution, self and collective care, volunteerism and community service.
“Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” –MLK
Martin Luther King coined the term “beloved community” to charge us with a new vision of justice. King’s concept of the “beloved community” challenges us to envision a justice that is rooted in nonviolence, transformative, and restorative. This week, we reflect on these principles by asking key similar questions “Who are we in community with?” “How does our social justice work lead to reconciliation?” And “what are we building, and for what purpose?” This week we challenge the NC State Campus to intentionally build relationships by making connections outside of their comfort zone; and foster connections in new spaces at events across campus.
Being a person of color is often an exhausting and humbling experience filled with pain and adversity. Honoring our ancestors can make our daily experiences easier. By remembering the lives of our ancestors, we can mentally experience their journey and gain an appreciation for our own lives. Our ancestors lived, thrived, loved, and suffered before we did, and their accomplishments and sufferings impact our lives today. If it were not for them, we would not be. As we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week, we encourage the NC State campus community to honor their ancestors and take time to remember those that came before you. We seek to celebrate our ancestors that have paved the way for us to be where we are today, and honor them by being a positive force in our communities.
2023 Keynote Address | Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at 3:30 p.m
You Won’t Break My Soul: King Jr., Queen Bey and a Legacy of Renaissance in the South
This year we welcome Grammy Award nominee and cultural movement worker Pierce Freelon. Pierce will provide his keynote address, “You Won’t Break My Soul: King Jr., Queen Bey and a Legacy of Renaissance in the South,” which explores the living legacies of Black Southern Renaissance movements.
Please join us on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. in the Piedmont/Mountains Ballroom in Talley Student Union. This event is open to all with no registration required.
2023 Calendar of Events
The 2023 MLK Commemoration will provide resources for living a well-rounded life as activists, creatives, and allies. Events with themes of spiritual and mental wellness, liberation, and the arts will focus on radical love, community appreciation, and ancestral gratitude.
Monday, January 16
Day of Rest/Day of Service
Tuesday, January 17
Plastic Off the Sofa – An MLK-Inspired Spoken Word/ Poetry Open Mic
6- 7:30 P.M. | Sankofa in Witherspoon Student Center
Wednesday, January 18
Keynote Address featuring Pierce Freelon
3:30 P.M. | Talley Student Union | Piedmont Mountains Ballroom
Friday, January 20
March Like Martin
3:00 P.M. | Stafford Commons – Harris Field
If you have an event you would like to have added to our calendar of events, please reach out to Dave Johnson by January 9, 2023.
"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love." -MLK
Please also explore these resources by NC State Libraries:
- Timeline of African American History at NC State
- “Stories of Solidarity and Change: The Legacy of MLK at NC State” digital exhibit from MLK Commemoration 2022
- Virtual Wolf Tales – share your story
- “Reimagining Black Futures Through the Archives,” curated by Victor Betts and on permanent display in Hill Library Innovation Studio, as part of angela gay-audre’s Existence as Resistance: The Magic in Blackness exhibit