Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Emory & Henry College is coordinated by the Office of Spiritual Life in conjunction with the MLK Day Planning Team. Each year, a theme is explored that connects to the mission and set of morals that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood behind.
This year's theme is racism and mass incarceration.
Wednesday, January 13
7:30 PM – PBS Documentary “Prison State” featuring the narratives of several individuals in Kentucky who live in communities impacted by a large number of persons being incarcerated, the cycle of mass incarceration, and the high rate of African Americans in the prison system.
Thursday, January 14
7:30 PM – “If You Really Knew Me” interactive experience led by the Student Government Association that will challenge participants to understand one another's experiences of racism, especially in the context of the MLK Day theme.
Friday, January 15
5:30 PM – Discussion of “Selma” and conversation with Dr. Joe Reiff, author of Born of Conviction. Hosted by Real Reel, a student-led group that discusses films that address important topics
Sunday, January 17
4:00 PM – Embracing Realities, Acknowledging Growth and Learning to Change (E&H alums speak from personal experience about the reality of racism and solutions for changing attitudes.)
7:30 PM – Interfaith Prayer Service for those who are imprisoned led by E&H’s Association for Religious Diversity
Monday, January 18
10:00 AM – Keynote Address - Dr. Bruce Western, professor of Criminal Justice Policy and Sociology at Harvard University and author of Punishment and Inequality in America and The Growth of Incarceration in the United States.
11:30 AM – 12:45 PM – Breakout Sessions
• The Flaw in the Law: Unequal treatment of minorities by law enforcement.
• Incarceration and the Family: Incarceration’s effect on the family (especially children).
• Now Hiring Ex-Cons: Pre- and post-release programs designed to help inmates transition back into their communities and reduce discrimination of ex-cons during the hiring process.
• Mental Illness: The impact that the lack of mental health services makes on incarceration
• The Business of a Prison: Economic effects of a prison on the surrounding community
• Religion and Prison Life: Incarceration’s effect on the faith and religious practices of inmates
• Orange is the Real New Black: The real truth about women and prison
• “But I’m Innocent!”: The problem of wrongful incarceration
2:30 – 3:30 PM – Breakout with Dr. Bruce Western
7:30 PM – Freedom of Speech or Racism: a community discussion about the Confederate Flag debate
Saturday, January 23
MLK Day Service Project coordinated by the Appalachian Center for Civic Life
During the weeks following MLK Day, safe spaces will be provided where persons who have experienced the impact of mass incarceration (either personally or through a family member, friend, etc.) to gather for debriefing the emotions that this topic may have stirred within them.
E&H’s MLK Day is coordinated by the MLK Day Planning Team. Anyone interested in contributing to the event should contact Mary K. Briggs. For updated information, please visit www.ehc.edu/mlk2016.