September 29, 2022

MLK Day of Learning

Here on campus, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has always been an opportunity for learning and social growth, and this year is no different.

MLK Day of Learning will take place Monday, Jan. 21, and is spearheaded by the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and its director, Almar Walter. Walter has been in the director position since July of 2014, and says that it is the goal of the ODI “to provide an impactful, educational experience for the central Ohio community” by way of the Day of Learning.

The day will begin with a keynote address from Dr. Joyce Ladner, a revered sociologist and thinker who was active in the fight for civil rights. Ladner worked with civil rights leaders such as Medgar Evers and Fannie Lou Hamer, and was even briefly jailed for her role in an attempt to integrate an all-white church in Jackson, Mississippi. Ladner’s presentation will begin at 9 a.m. in Mees Hall.

Herman Boone was last year’s speaker.

The introduction of a new award will also be taking place at this time. According to Walter, he was approached by members of Student Government with a proposal to create an award that is to be given to a Capital student that exemplifies Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the elements for which he stood. Walter says that this award will be given to a student who “is striving to espouse the ideals which Dr. King stood for.”

This award is set to be described and initiated by Student Government President Jack Spiller at the convocation in Mees Hall where Ladner will be speaking.

The majority of the afternoon will be dedicated to workshops. Walter says that they “will be amazing this year,” and, as usual, will cover topics that are highly relevant to King and his work led by faculty, students, and community partners.

Individual topics range from King’s life as a preacher to fighting against mass incarceration to more about Bexley’s diverse community and the plight of Muslims across today’s United States.

The annual Hank Marr Jazz Luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Cap Center.

At 4 p.m., the student-led documentary Capital in the Sixties will premiere in front of an audience. This project was undertaken throughout the past semester by students from various educational programs, including electronic media and film (EMF) and history. While the Immersion class that created the documentary has been offered in the past, this is the first time that the students in the class have made a documentary.

With a new award being introduced and a student-led documentary project being revealed for the first time, this year’s Day of Learning brings with it plenty of new material. Students can volunteer to help at a variety of positions that include ushers for the convocation and workshop assistants. Those interested can apply here. (

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