Next Monday, Baylor University will host its 11th annual Martin Luther King event in the interest of recognizing the contributions and life-long achievements of the civil rights champion. The University hopes that the event will inspire a whole new generation of individuals who will continue MLKs legacy in protecting social justice and equality.
The day is designed to give our students a deeper understanding of the civil rights movement, says Baylor Headmaster Dr. Bill Stacy.
According to statements released by school offices, the event will begin with a series of activities ranging from community service to small-group discussions concerning the civil rights movement and various cross-cultural issues. Prior to the discussions, students are encouraged to attend a special presentation of the film Nashville: We were Warriors on January 13. Issues presented in the film will be part of the subject of discussion.
The video will cover events surrounding the famed 1960s sit-in protests in Nashville, putting an end to segregation at lunch-counters all over the city.
This year, Baylor University invited former civil-rights activist Bernard LaFayette Jr. to be the keynote speaker at the event. LaFayette has led a distinguished career, having served as a Civil Rights activist, minister, educator, lecturer, and authority in nonviolent social-reform methodology. Currently, LaFayette is the Director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island.
LaFayettes lifelong involvement with civil rights activities started with his involvement in famous Nashville sit-ins. In 1960, he co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating committee (SNCC). Afterwards, LaFayette move on to become a prominent leader in the Nashville Movement, Freedom Rides, and 1965 Selma Movement. In 1962, he directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project and received the position of national program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 1968, Marin Luther King Jr. personally appointed him national coordinator of the 1968 Poor Peoples campaign.
Also, Dr. LaFayette is formerly the director of Peace and Justice in Latin America. He is the chairperson of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education, and Development. LaFayette has also been the Director of PUSH Excel Institute and Westminster Presbyterian Church minister in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Dr. LaFayette is an ordained minister at the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville Tennessee. He earned his bachelors at the American Baptist Theological Seminary in the same city. Later, he went on to serve in the faculty of the Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta and Alabama State University in Montgomery. He has at one point served as principal of the Tuskegee Institute High School in Tuskegee, Alabama and as a teaching fellow at Harvard University. Throughout his career, La Fayette traveled the world, lecturing on topics concerning peace and non-violence.