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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Celebration brings Keynote Speaker Trevor Noah to Campus

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership of the civil rights movement.

Syracuse University Honors the Life Work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Syracuse University will be closed Monday, January 21 for the US federal holiday honoring the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Sunday, January 27, Syracuse University will host its 34th Annual MLK Celebration in the Carrier Dome – a combined university and community celebration.  The University’s Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is the largest event of its kind on a college campus. The event got its start even before Congress acted to recognize Dr. King with a federal holiday honoring his memory and accomplishments. Syracuse University’s celebration includes student and community entertainment, dinner and presentation of the Unsung Hero Awards, which recognize local community members who have championed the plight of those in need.

The keynote speaker at this year’s MLK Celebration will be Trevor Noah, host of the Emmy- and

Trevor Noah will lead a discussion on the global impact of the civil rights movement as the keynote of the 2019 MLK Jr. Celebration.

Peabody Award-winning “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central.  Noah will take part in an on-stage conversation, talking about his acclaimed memoir, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” (Random House, 2016), reflecting on the life and legacy of Dr. King, and discussing the global impact of the civil rights movement.

“Not only is Trevor Noah a popular television personality and the most successful comedian in South African history, his recent and renowned text has proven to be informative, formative and deeply transformative,” says the Rev. Brian E. Konkol, dean of Hendricks Chapel and co-chair of the 2019 MLK Celebration. “By showing the connections among Soweto, Selma and Syracuse at our 2019 MLK Celebration, we will recognize the global impact of the civil rights movement and consider how we, too, may receive the freedom to flourish as citizens of the world.”

“Born a Crime” was the selected book for the 2018-19 Syracuse Reads Program, a shared reading initiative coordinated by the Provost’s Office that is part of the First-Year Experience for all new SU students. The initiative aims to engage students in a shared experience that explores themes of identity, belonging, diversity, inclusion, and health and wellness.

The University provided more than 3,900 special softcover copies and e-copies of the book to all incoming first-year and transfer students in June. The students were instructed to read “Born a Crime” over the summer. After their arrival on campus for the fall semester, the students participated in a series of five-week discussion sessions—co-led by a student peer facilitator and a faculty, staff or graduate student lead facilitator—intended to enhance the students’ understanding of the topics addressed in the book and engage them in broader contexts about identity, resiliency, inclusion and community.

“We are thrilled to host Trevor Noah, who will share his experiences and reflections with our students and the entire campus community as we continue to build a more welcoming, inclusive community,” says Kira Kristal Reed, provost faculty fellow, associate professor in the Whitman School and co-chair of the First-Year Experience Initiative. “His appearance will enhance the First-Year Experience as we engage in a shared reading and discussions, and wellness opportunities throughout the fall, and conclude with the MLK celebration.”

For more information on the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration, which includes a community/campus wide dinner from 5:00 – 6:30 and programming from 7:00 – 8:30, please visit: Event Information


This post, largely reprinted from the Oct 31, 2018, SU News story, SU Welcomes Comedian Trevor ,
by Keith Kobland.

Syracuse University’s MLK Jr Celebration

The Unsung Hero Awards

SU’s MLK Jr Celebration List of Past Speakers

Learn More about the life and teachings of Dr. King:

The King Center

Dr. King / Biographical, from The Nobel Prize

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr – Wikipedia

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