MLK Campus Commemoration Continues with Master Class Series

MLK Master Class Series 2021

As a part of celebrating the late Martin Luther King Jr.’s radical legacy, the African American Cultural Center (AACC) continues to curate spaces dedicated to inspiring and aiding in liberation.

One of the many ways the AACC creates these expansive spaces is through the MLK Master Class series, curated by Ashley Gaddy, founder and head consultant of Ashley Gaddy Enterprises.  The series allows students, staff and faculty to collectively expand on historical and contemporary issues surrounding our work and how we exist as a black folx in the pandemic.

Centering the main question, “What the hell do we do now?”, the first master class looks at how we do the work we do, and how the pandemic has impacted that work. Through her inspirational words, Gaddy addresses the challenges and opportunities of working in virtual settings while coping with a pandemic. She further explains that we are in unprecedented times, and old challenges persist while new ones arise. However, we should always try to hold ourselves up to standard when it comes to adapting, moving forward and doing the work.

The second master class centers on the Black History Month theme, “Rest is our Liberation.” Noting that many people who hold minoritized identities have extra burdens placed in them based on identity, Ashley Gaddy offers a way to resist this cultural dynamic by centering rest.

By emphasizing a justice-focused theory on rest, this master class affirms that rest is indeed liberation. Ashley Gaddy highlights the many ways in which our body, mind and soul beg for rest, and how heeding that call and that need for rest is vital to the work we do as organizers, activists, teachers, scholars and storytellers.

MLK Master Class Series

The Revolution Within Us: Finding Your Leadership Identity

Sometimes we forget who we are. Often we are told who we are. This master class will allow us to reclaim our leadership identity and become our own authors by looking within and recognizing the individual and collective power that surrounds us. Its focus will help you think about how you may want to be a change agent and give you the skills to start the path towards legacy-making. This class is open to anyone looking to restore and transform self and communities.

This virtual event will take place on Tuesday, March 30 from 6–8 p.m.


Asserting the Humanity of Blackness to Reclaim

As we talk about sexual violence, we also recognize a need to look historically at how we think about flesh, body and humanity. During this master class, we will look to move toward a future that tells the whole story of Black bodies. We will think about how Black women, Black transgender folk and Black gender-nonconforming folk have set the tone for how we reclaim ourselves and move towards liberatory futures. We will examine the movements they have created and reflect on how these movements have empowered us. From these reflections, we will build futures to everyday claim freedom.

This virtual event will take place on Monday, April 26 from 6–8 p.m.


Aminat Bashroun is interim program coordinator in the African American Cultural Center.